Michigan Legislature approves automatic expungement bills

Posted at 6:15 AM, Sep 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-25 06:15:01-04

Michigan would automatically expunge the criminal records of hundreds of thousands of residents under sweeping "clean slate" bills that received final legislative approval on Thursday. The process, which would begin in 2023, would be automated — so people convicted of crimes wouldn't have to apply.

They would be eligible seven years after their misdemeanor sentence and, in the case of a felony, 10 years.

Those with certain convictions wouldn't be eligible. The package also would let people with misdemeanor pot convictions clear the offenses beginning in January if they wouldn't have been crimes before voters' legalization of marijuana in 2018.

"Expungement means opportunity, and now thousands more Detroiters won't be defined and held back by their past mistakes," said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. "For one Project Clean Slate client, his expungement has meant going from making $10/hour to making $26/hr, for others it means going back to school to pursue a dream or career goals, for others it might mean shedding a life-long stigma, and for others still it could mean being able to chaperone their child on a field trip. I look forward to this legislation being signed into law soon by Gov. Whitmer."