MICHIGAN EXPANDS CLEAN SLATE EXPUNGEMENTS TO OUIs

September 20, 2021

Everyone makes mistakes.  When that mistake is a criminal one, however, it can have lasting impacts.  Criminal convictions adversely affect careers, housing, public assistance and, to many, are a constant reminder of a past they would like to forget.  In an effort to remediate these adverse effects, Michigan enacted the Clean Slate Act in October of 2020.  The Act is designed to “provide for setting aside the conviction in certain criminal cases” in an effort to give past offenders a “clean slate.”  It does so by providing an application process whereby, after a certain number of years, past offenders can apply to their convicting Court to have their criminal conviction expunged.  For instance, an offender can apply for an expungement of a felony conviction where seven years has passed since the completion of their probation or incarceration and the offender has avoided a subsequent conviction.

The Act, which came into effect in April of 2021, originally excluded convictions for operating while intoxicated from those convictions that were eligible for expungement.  On August 24, 2021, however, Governor Whitmer signed House Bills 4219 and 4220, which will allow for expungement of convictions for a first violation of operating while intoxicated (OWI) under certain circumstances.  Now, persons convicted of an OUI can apply for an expungement five years after their probation or imprisonment has ended.

As a result of this amendment, an estimated 200,000 non-repeat OWI offenders will have the opportunity for a second chance at a clean record.  The Act has already proven to be a success since it came into effect, giving Michiganders a clean slate to start with.  If you have a conviction that you would like to expunge off your record, contact one of our attorneys today.