You May Be Able to Expunge a Prior Conviction!
Do you have a prior criminal conviction?
Is your conviction preventing you from finding a job or starting a career?
The Clean Slate law makes it possible for more people to petition for an expungement. An expungement removes convictions from your public criminal record. As a result, you can legally state that you have never been convicted or arrested for that crime on job, school, and/or housing applications. This can help you find full-time employment and create financial stability for you and your family.
If you qualify, West Michigan Works! can help you expunge a prior conviction at no cost to you!
Please submit the Online Eligibility Application to determine if you are eligible for the Clean Slate program through West Michigan Works!.
The application will ask about the number of convictions and includes several yes/no questions about the type of convictions. It will also ask for personal information such as name, home address, a valid email address. The information you provide will allow a Clean Slate navigator to retrieve your Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT) and assess your eligibility for expungement.
If eligible, you will need to:
- Provide a valid photo copy of your ID (acceptable forms of ID include; state-issued driver license or personal ID card, passport, military ID card/record, federal Native American Tribe ID).
- Sign the Clean Slate participation agreement.
- Create a MiLogin.
- Create a Pure Michigan Talent Connect account.
Your application will be reviewed by a Clean Slate navigator who will contact you within a couple of weeks.
Questions? Check out our FAQs.
What is an expungement, or “set-aside”?
Michigan law permits a person to file an application to “set-aside a conviction,” generally referred to as an expungement. This removes a specific conviction from public criminal record. Expunging eligible convictions from their criminal record aids job seekers in their pursuit of full-time, self-sustaining employment by allowing them to legally state on any job, school, or housing application that they have never been convicted of or arrested for that crime.
What does the Clean Slate law do?
As of 4/11/2021, the new law expands eligibility to petition for an expungement and creates a new process that will automatically seal certain non-violent records if a person has remained conviction-free for a period of time (three years for misdemeanors; 5 or 7 years for felonies depending on the offense). While most portions of the legislation went into effect on 4/11/21, the automatic expungements will not take effect until 2023.
How can West Michigan Works! help a job seeker with a criminal expungement?
West Michigan Works! can help by providing assistance throughout the process. The job seeker will complete a prescreen eligibility application and if they are deemed potentially eligible, a referral will be immediately made to the Clean Slate Navigator. The Clean Slate Navigator will contact the job seeker to discuss the next steps. The Clean Slate Navigator can assist with sharing information about the set-aside application process, completing an ICHAT, assisting with fingerprint fees, and connecting job seekers to legal counsel who will represent them throughout their criminal expungement.
Will West Michigan Works! help me pay for my legal fees?
West Michigan Works! provides expungement resources at no cost to the job seeker. This includes covering the ICHAT fee, fingerprinting fee, filing fee, and attorney fees. West Michigan Works! does not assist with repayment of restitution, fines or costs sentenced by a judge.
Are all convictions eligible for expungement?
No, not all convictions qualify.
Criminal sexual conduct convictions, offenses punishable by a maximum life in prison, second offense domestic violence, and human trafficking offenses are not eligible for expungement. In addition, moving violations causing injury or death are not eligible. Michigan expungement laws only apply to Michigan convictions; they do not apply to Federal or out-of-state convictions.
On August 24, 2021 the Governor signed a bill making first time OWI (operating while intoxicated) charges for non-repeat offenders eligible for expungement after they have completed their required wait period. This bill does not go into effect until February 20, 2022.
Is there a waiting period before you can file your application to set-aside most convictions?
Yes, except for marijuana convictions which were legalized on 12/6/18. The waiting period starts from whichever of the following happens last for the conviction you are trying to expunge: the date convictions/sentenced, the date probation is completed, the date discharged from parole, or the date released from prison/jail. The amount of time you must wait depends on the type of conviction and number of convictions you have. Here is an example of different waiting periods:
One felony: five years
Multiple felonies: seven years
One or more serious misdemeanors (also referred to as high-court misdemeanors): five years
One or more non-serious, non-assaultive misdemeanors: three years
I have a misdemeanor marijuana conviction; do I have to wait to get it expunged?
Misdemeanor marijuana convictions, which were legalized on 12/6/2018, do not require a waiting period to apply for expungement. The expungement process for legalized misdemeanor marijuana convictions is expedited and the burden of proof is on the prosecutor. More information can be found here: Marijuana Expungement Information.
What if I am charged and/or convicted of a new crime during the waiting period?
Any new criminal activity could influence a judge’s decision to grant an expungement. A judge will typically not grant a set-aside application if you were convicted of another crime during the waiting period or have pending charges.
What if a judge denies the application to set-aside?
After an application is denied by a judge, the petitioner must wait three years from the date of denial to apply again. However, a judge may allow you to apply sooner if they include a statement in the denial order stating so.
Can I utilize other West Michigan Works! programs and services while participating in the Clean Slate program?
Yes, West Michigan Works! offers one-on-one coaching services for unemployed and eligible underemployed individuals who are ready to take the next step to a new job or career. Staff can help you map out your next steps-whether it’s helping you create or update your resume, connecting you to training, workshops, or referring you to specialized services. Visit our website for more information: https://jobs.westmiworks.org.
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A Clean Slate Changes Lives
Having a criminal record can make it challenging and sometimes impossible to rent a home or find a job. The Clean Slate law is designed to give individuals with a prior conviction a second chance. LEARN MORE>