Attorney Robert Haertel graduated from WMU Cooley Law School in 2013.
He is an active attorney in the Michigan State Bar and both Michigan Federal Districts as well as Tax Court.
He lives in Northern Michigan and often enjoys traveling the state to represent clients from as far as "down state," through the Upper Peninsula
He has been a member of the Eastman Meyler Family since December 2016 and is looking forward to helping you with your legal needs!
Haertel Law logo Designed by Freepik.
HOW TO EXPUNGE A MICHIGAN CRIMINAL RECORD & RESTORE FIREARM RIGHTS
Don’t Let Past Hurt Your Future
Going through life with a criminal record in Michigan can have various negative consequences. A criminal record can make it hard to obtain things that would normally be available such as employment opportunities, professional licenses, or financial aid, among others. Furthermore, it is rather simple for anyone with Internet access to conduct a background search for an individual’s criminal record in Michigan.
Fortunately, Michigan allows individuals to have a conviction expunged, or set aside, so that it is erased and sealed from public access. Apart from a few situations, having a conviction set aside in Michigan is as though the criminal offense never happened. Therefore, you can legally state on any employment, housing, or school application that you have never been convicted or arrested for that crime. Certain law enforcement or criminal justice agencies may, in some cases, be able to access the records, but only under limited circumstances.
How to Remove Your Michigan Record
Michigan recently expanded their laws to allow for the set-aside of many criminal records. Michigan also allows for those convicted of certain felonies to petition the court for a restoration of firearm rights. Our firm offers the following legal services in Michigan:
This Information is for You
Since the majority of people reading this aren’t lawyers, we’ve tried to simplify the legal jargon on our website, so regular people may follow along and get the information needed to understand their rights. However, before we get started, we should be clear that some of this information can get complicated, and, in many cases, it’s best to seek the assistance of an experienced lawyer.
To help you understand your rights, our lawyers have developed a tool that can be helpful in figuring out your options. This tool can’t be perfectly accurate in every situation, but our lawyers have invested substantial time and resources working to make it as accurate as possible.
You can get started by using our Secure Eligibility Test, or you can give us a call at (844) 947-3732 to see if our legal staff is available for a free consultation. Be aware that our staff is often busy with current clients and a high volume of calls and appointments. If you’re serious about getting rid of your record, your best bet is to take our secure, confidential Eligibility Test and then schedule an appointment to discuss your results and options.
Legal Effect of Michigan Criminal Record Removal
Michigan Conviction Set Aside
Michigan state law was recently amended and expanded to further benefit those looking remove their criminal past. According to the law, a person can typically petition to set aside one felony conviction if he or she has been convicted of not more than one felony and not more than two misdemeanors. Additionally, a person can petition to set aside up to two misdemeanors if he or she has been convicted of not more than two misdemeanors and no felonies. A conviction that was deferred and dismissed, whether felony or misdemeanor, will be considered a misdemeanor for purposes of determining whether a person is eligible to have a conviction set aside.
The law requires a person who is 18 or more years old to file a court application five (5) or more years after whichever of the following events occurred last:
- Imposition of the sentence for the conviction that the applicant seeks to set aside
- Completion of probation imposed for the conviction that the applicant seeks to set aside
- Discharge from parole imposed for the conviction that the applicant seeks to set aside
- Completion of any term of imprisonment for the conviction that the applicant seeks to set aside
If an application is denied, the applicant is prohibited from filing another application for 3 years unless the court specifies an earlier date in the order denying the petition.
Convictions that DO NOT qualify for a Set Aside
Under Michigan law, a judge shall not set aside a conviction for any of the following:
- A felony (or attempted felony) where the maximum punishment is life imprisonment
- Child Sexually Abusive Activity or Material (or possession thereof), Using a Computer to Solicit a Minor, 2nd or 3rd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, Assault with Intent to Commit Child Sexual Conduct, 2nd Degree Child Abuse, and Child Abuse in the Presence of Another Child
- 4th Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct if the conviction occurred after the effective date of the amendment (i.e. 1/12/2015). If the conviction occurred before this date, and the person has not been convicted of more than 2 “minor offenses”, then it may be eligible.
- Traffic Offenses (including Operating While Intoxicated)
- Felony Conviction for Domestic Violence if the person has a previous misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence
- Human trafficking
Michigan Deferred and Dismissed Cases
Cases that have been deferred and dismissed do not need to be set aside. If this type of probation is successfully completed, the conviction will be dismissed, and the record should not go on the defendant’s public record. Therefore, those records should not be reported on any Michigan State Police background check.
Deferred and dismissed cases are deemed a misdemeanor conviction for purposes of meeting the set aside eligibility requirements. The offenses described in the statute that count as a misdemeanor conviction even though the charge was deferred and dismissed include:
- Purchase, Possession, and Consumption by a Minor
- Dismissals related to completion of Drug Treatment Program or Veteran’s Treatment Court Deferral
- Offenses under the Code of Criminal Procedure dealing with (a) assignment of youthful trainees, (b) domestic violence, or (c) cases of delayed sentencing
- First Time Drug Offenses in Section 7411 of the Public Health Code
- Taking or Retaining Child by Adoptive or Natural Parent with the Intent to Conceal from Another with Parenting Rights
- Prohibited Conduct by Licensed Health Care Professional
- A dismissal under any other Michigan law or of one of its political subdivisions similar in nature and applicability to those listed.
Michigan Juvenile Conviction Set Aside
If convicted of a crime as a minor, it is called a juvenile adjudication. Setting aside an adjudication is the process that clears your juvenile record. To be eligible for a juvenile adjudication, you must meet the following conditions:
- You must be at least 18 years old
- At least one year must have passed since your sentence or release from detention
- You may only have up to three offenses, and only one of them may be a felony
- Cannot set aside traffic offenses, and cannot have committed a felony as an adult
If you were convicted of certain prostitution offenses committed as a victim of human trafficking, you may be eligible to have those convictions set aside. Multiple convictions of this type may be expunged, and the waiting period is more lenient.
Michigan Firearm Rights Restoration
If convicted of a felony – defined in Michigan as an offense punishable by imprisonment for 4 years or more – your rights to purchase and possess a firearm are lost. Michigan’s gun laws categorize felonies into two types, those that are “specified” and those that are not.
If convicted of a non-specified felony, your right to possess a firearm is automatically reinstated three years after the following circumstances exist:
- The person has paid all fined imposed for the violation.
- The person has served all terms of imprisonment imposed for the violation.
- The person has successfully completed all conditions of probation or parole imposed for the violation.
If convicted of a specified felony, a person’s rights cannot be reinstated until 5 years after all the following circumstances exist:
- The person has paid all fines imposed for the violation.
- The person has served all terms of imprisonment imposed for the violation; and
- The person has successfully completed all conditions of probation or parole imposed for the violation.
After 5 years of these requirements having been met, the individual must then apply to the circuit court in the county where he/she resides for restoration of gun rights. When considering your petition, the court will consider the following factors:
- Whether the application for firearm restoration was properly submitted
- Whether you successfully completed the terms of your sentence and 5 years has passed since the last condition of your sentence
- Whether your past criminal record and current reputation are such that you are not likely to act in a manner that is dangerous to the safety of others, shown by clear and convincing evidence
“Specified felony” means a felony in which 1 or more of the following circumstances exist:
- An element of that felony is the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, or that by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.
- An element of that felony is the unlawful manufacture, possession, importation, exportation, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled substance.
- The felony is burglary of an occupied dwelling, or breaking and entering an occupied dwelling, or arson.
- An element of that felony is the unlawful possession or distribution of a firearm.
- An element of that felony is the unlawful use of an explosive.
The firearm appeal procedures can be quite difficult to understand. Furthermore, courts require that everything be submitted correctly to even be considered for firearm restoration. Trying to accomplish these tasks without the representation of an attorney might seriously lessen your chances of success. The best option is to consult a law firm with experience handling such matters.
If you have lost the right to possess a firearm and would like your privileges restored, contact our law firm today for a consultation. Or, if you have a Michigan criminal record that you would like to be set aside, we can assist with that as well. The first step is to take our free, confidential eligibility test.
What You Need to Do to Get Rid of Your Record
If you are tired of having a criminal record hold you back, reach out to us by taking our Secure Eligibility Test or by giving us a call at (844) 947-3732. Our law firm has helped thousands of people with criminal records move on in life, leaving many of the negative effects of a criminal record behind. Our experienced attorneys and legal staff are here to help you figure out what criminal record clearing services best fit your needs, and then help you accomplish your goals. Using our secure, confidential Eligibility Test is the best way to get the process started.
Some of the potential benefits of expunging your criminal record in Michigan include:
- Removing a finding of guilt from your criminal record to help you get a better job
- Becoming eligible for professional licenses you previously did not qualify for
- Restoring your Second Amendment Right to bear arms
- No longer being treated as a felon
- Increased eligibility for student loans, housing assistance, and government programs
- Improving your ability to obtain higher-paying job opportunities
- Improving access and admission to college and other educational resources
The process for setting aside a Michigan conviction varies depending on the county where the application is filed. Generally, it consists of filling out the correct forms, obtaining certified court copies of criminal records, getting fingerprints, and paying the necessary fees. This can be a complicated process without the help of an attorney.
You can trust that you will get exceptional service from our law firm, as we have an A Rating from the Better Business Bureau, and prestigious attorney rating services such as Thompson Reuters and Avvo list our attorneys as Super Lawyers and Superb Attorneys. Our law firm has attorneys licensed to practice law in all Michigan state courts, provides low price guarantees, and is here to fight for you and put your criminal record behind you!