The Michigan Legislature is considering a package of bills (House Bill 4980-4985) that would allow more Michiganders to expunge their criminal records. The bills would make the following changes:
- Expand the number of people who qualify for expungement: Under the plan, a person with up to three felonies and any number of misdemeanors could have all their convictions set aside if none were assault crimes. Someone with an assault crime can have up to two felonies and four misdemeanors set aside. Convictions such as murder and criminal sexual conduct would not be eligible.
- Automatic expungement for some offenders 10 years after their monitoring by the justice system ends: This would be if none of the convictions are assault crimes or serious misdemeanors, and only for convictions that were punishable by less than 10 years imprisonment. It would apply after the person has paid restitution.
- Allow expungement of marijuana convictions for behavior that would be permissible under current law: Most of these individuals would be eligible to apply for expungement immediately. This process would not be automatic.
- Allow forgiveness for multiple acts committed during “one bad night”: Convictions for offenses similar in nature that were committed in a 24-hour period would be treated as a single felony if none were assault, if none involved the possession of a weapon, and if none carried a maximum penalty of more than 10 years.
- Allow for the expungement of some traffic offenses: Driving under the influence and traffic offenses causing serious injury or death would not qualify for expungement.
- Shorten the eligibility period for misdemeanors: Applications to set aside more than one felony could be filed after seven years. A serious misdemeanor or one felony could be expunged after five years. Other misdemeanors with no felonies could be expunged after three years.
These bills would help to eliminate barriers to employment and housing that so many Michiganders face. In fact, it is estimated that this would affect about 100,000 people in Wayne County alone. While the bill package is a huge step forward, there is still room for improvement.
Call these Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee
Graham Filler (Chair): (517) 373-1778
Beau LaFave (Vice-chair): (517) 373-0156
Gary Howell: (517) 373-1800
Steven Johnson: (517) 373-0840
Daire Rendon: (517) 373-3817
Hi, I’m calling to urge Representative ________ to support House Bills 4980-4985, which would allow more Michiganders to expunge their criminal records. I also urge you to improve these bills by making expungement automatic for use and possession and to include offenses such as manufacture or possession of marijuana with intent to distribute as eligible for expungement If the state is truly serious about giving Michiganders a second chance, people shouldn’t have to pay and wait for the courts to process the expungement. Thank you.