Last Fall, the Michigan House passed a package of bills (HB4980-4985, and 5120) that would allow more Michiganders to expunge their criminal records. The criminal justice system disproportionately affects people of color in our state, creating life-long barriers to employment and housing that can be nearly impossible to overcome. These bills would remove or lower some of these barriers and could improve the lives of as many as 100,000 people in Wayne County alone. [1] This bill package is a huge step forward and has bi-partisan support.

Please call these key GOP members of the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee and urge them to bring these bills to the full senate for passage this week.

  • Sen. Peter Lucido (chair) (517) 373-7670
  • Sen. Tom Barrett (517) 373-3447
  • Sen. Ruth Johnson (517) 373-1636
  • Sen. Jim Runestad 517) 373-1758

Example script for calling Senators:

Hi, I’m calling to urge Senator ________ to request that the Senator vote YES for the Expungement bill package which passed the house in 2019, but has been sitting in committee ever since. Now that they are finally being debate, it is time to allow the full Senate to review and vote. The bills numbers are HB 4980-4985, and 5120. Allowing more Michiganders to expunge their criminal records has wide, bi-partisan support. It is time to get it done. Thank you.

Additional Background: The bills would make the following changes: [0] [9]

● Automatic expungement for some offenders 10 years after their monitoring by the justice system ends: This would be if none of the convictions are assaultive 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. [2] (4980)
● 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. This changes the current law under which all traffic offenses go toward the total count of someone’s felonies and misdemeanors. [3] (4981)
● Allow expungement of marijuana convictions that would be permissible under current law: Most would be eligible to apply for expungement immediately. This process would not be automatic. [4] (4982)
● Shorten the eligibility waiting 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. [5] (4983)
● 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 assaultive crimes. Someone with an assaultive crime can have up to two felonies and four misdemeanors set aside. Convictions such as murder, domestic abuse, child abuse, and criminal sexual conduct would not be eligible. [6] (4984)
● 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 assaultive, if none involved the possession of a weapon, and if none carried a maximum penalty of more than 10 years. [7] (4985)

● Set up a non-public mechanism to keep a non-public record of expunged marijuana offences for use by courts and police. Non-public records about other types of expunged offences are covered by a different statute. [8] (5120)