What Does Expungement Mean?

Did you know job applicants with a criminal record are nearly half as likely as those without to get a callback or job offer?! 

Getting a conviction “expunged” means that it is removed from your public criminal record. If you get a conviction expunged, you can legally state on any applications for school, employment, public benefits, or housing that you have never been convicted of that crime. 

The new clean slate laws means over 100,000 Michiganders are eligible for expungement. On October 12, 2020 Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a package of bills that have collectively been referred to as the “Clean Slate” legislation. In truth, Michigan’s Clean Slate legislation is a package of 7 separate bills that have dramatically changed the legal landscape in Michigan as it relates to expungements (the removal of arrests and convictions from an individual’s public criminal record).  The new Clean Slate legislation went into effect on April 11, 2021.  Many people with a conviction face debilitating roadblocks in almost every important aspect of life even after they have served their sentence. 

The Clean Slate bill gives people a second chance and help them get jobs, secure housing, and fully integrate back to their communities. This would reduce the likelihood they will re-offend, which promotes public safety and is beneficial for all. Michigan’s Clean Slate legislation has made sweeping changes to Michigan’s expungement law. Previously, Michigan law only allowed 1 felony or 2 misdemeanors to be expunged, and there were many restrictions attached to that process. 

There are so many barriers that come up when you have a conviction— so to be able to have an offense expunged can be a literally life-changing experience for someone. 

The bipartisan bills put Michigan in line with 20 other states that have passed legislation to expand their residents’ eligibility for expungement over the last two years and make Michigan the fourth state in the country to allow for automatic expungement. This is a huge deal because prior to this legislation you were only able to  expunge one or both misdemeanors if you have not more than two misdemeanors on your record and nothing else on your record. 

Take action and see if you qualify to have your record cleared under new #CleanSlateMI laws. Visit https://www.safeandjustmi.org/our-work/clean-slate-for-michigan/ for more information and to learn about expungement events in your area.


One response to “What Does Expungement Mean?”

  1. Eve Avatar

    It’s good to know that the clean slate bill will give people second chances. My brother did some dumb things in college and he wants to get his record cleaned up. He’s in grad school now, so he doesn’t want those things to impact his ability to get a job.

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