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Automatic Criminal Record Expungement Begins In Michigan

Michigan criminal justice reforms signed three years ago have taken effect, with nearly 850,000 residents seeing at least one conviction automatically set aside, reports States Newsroom. The automatic expungement process began on Tuesday. The bipartisan “Clean Slate” legislation wipes clean a range of convictions from people’s records after a defined waiting period. Michigan has about 2.8 million people with criminal records. Many of those convictions are low-level, nonviolent offenses, while others were committed as juveniles. Before the new expungement laws, those offenses stuck to records and acted as barriers to housing and employment opportunities.


“We’re celebrating a historic step forward as Michigan becomes just the third state to implement automatic expungement,” said John Cooper of Safe & Just Michigan. “This reform will deliver immediate and automatic impact for more than a million people, all of whom are likely to see their access to housing and jobs improve overnight.” On April 11,, when the automatic expungement program began, 252,417 Michiganders became conviction-free as their criminal records were sealed. Included in the nearly 1.2 million convictions set aside were more than 105,000 felony convictions and more than 1 million misdemeanors. Other states that offer relief for criminal records include Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Utah, Florida, Georgia, Montana and Maine. In Michigan, the new expungement program’s algorithm automatically searches the state’s criminal record database every day to find convictions newly eligible for expungement. Offenses not eligible for expungement include arson, child abuse, first-degree criminal sexual conduct, first-degree murder, felonious assault, manslaughter, stalking and others.

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