For over 35 years, we have successfully petitioned to remove and expunge past criminal convictions and helped persons gain a fresh start for their futures.
For the first time in history, the State of Michigan is permitting first offense drinking and driving convictions to be expunged from your criminal record. Drunk driving and Impaired driving convictions can prevent job and housing opportunities, student loan approval, acceptance into schools and universities, and more. Now, beginning on February 19, 2022, a court can set aside a first offense drinking and driving criminal conviction, or “expunge” it. This includes Intoxicated Driving, Impaired Driving, and even High Blood Alcohol "Superdrunk" convictions.
If granted, the conviction is set aside, removed from public record, and, with narrow exception, a person may honestly say they have not been convicted of that crime.
Getting a conviction expunged can be a complex process. For example, most convictions require a mandatory waiting period before the application can be filed, usually 3 years after your last day of probation or incarceration whichever is later. It is not too early to begin the process toward expungement. Our office can guide you through the process and is happy to help right now.
I was convicted in Chelsea, MI of a zero-tolerance offense when I was 20 years old: driving with a small amount of alcohol in my system. I wasn’t intoxicated or even impaired. Can this conviction be set aside?
Yes. This landmark legislation includes:
Operating While Intoxicated (OWI, DUI, OUIL)
Operating with High-BAC (Superdrunk)
Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI)
Under 21 with any BAC (Zero-tolerance offenses)
Operating With Presence of Drugs (OWPD)
I Have a Drunk Driving (DUI/OWI) Conviction from Chelsea, MI. Can I Get That Conviction Expunged?
Under new legislation, First Offense DUI/OWI convictions are now eligible for expungement, effective February 19, 2022. These include: capital offenses (offenses with a maximum penalty of life); Traffic offenses, which include drunk driving offenses; felony domestic violence; criminal sexual conduct cases; and more.
I was arrested for Drunk Driving in Chelsea, MI but my attorney worked out a plea to reckless driving. Can that be set aside?
Yes. Up to now, it has been impossible to get traffic offenses set aside. But now all traffic offenses can be the subject of an expungement application except traffic offenses causing death or injury, traffic offenses involving a commercial vehicle, and second or subsequent drinking and driving offenses.
Can I get my first OWI conviction expunged even if I was convicted of other crimes since then?
Yes. The new expungement laws no longer disqualify applicants based on the number of times they have been convicted. You cannot, however, get an OWI expunged if you have been convicted of any crimes in the three years immediately prior to filing the application.
I heard the new law will make expungements automatic. Why do I need an attorney?
Some convictions may be set aside automatically effective in April 2023, but not drinking and driving convictions. They are an exception to the automatic expungement legislation that may take effect in April, 2023 and require the filing of an application and hearing in court.
I Have a Conviction in Chelsea, MI but Now I Live Out of State. Do I Have to Appear in Michigan to Get an OWI-DUI Expungement?
No. Although applications for expungements must be filed in the court in which the conviction(s) originated, an attorney can often appear on behalf of a client who has relocated. Moreover, remote court appearances can often be accomplished by video conferencing.
Does an expungement really eliminate all record of my case?
No. An order setting aside a criminal conviction creates a non-public record that can only be accessed by certain government agencies for particular purposes such as a law enforcement considering a person for employment or a court sentencing someone for a felony. Additionally, setting aside any traffic offense expunges the criminal record but it does not remove the offense from the Secretary of State’s driving record. Contact us for a complete list of these exceptions.
What is the advantage of setting aside my OWI-DUI conviction?
Examples of the benefits of expungements include that no private employer or prospective landlord, no school or university and no executive branch licensing authority can access your criminal conviction record once it has been set aside. Even the State Police, which maintains the non-public record, can only access it if it is considering you for employment. Moreover, Michigan restrictions prohibiting the possession of firearms by felons no longer apply when the felonies have been set aside. Let us walk you through the expungement process and make sure that an expungement will accomplish your goals.
If I qualify for an expungement, will my application be approved automatically?
No. Even if you meet every single qualification set out in the law, your application still must be reviewed by the Judge who sentenced you or that Judge’s successor. The Judge will review the circumstances and behavior of the applicant and determine whether setting aside the conviction is warranted and consistent with the public welfare. Setting aside a conviction is a privilege and not a right. The assistance of an experienced attorney can make all the difference.
For over 35 years, Joseph A. Simon has successfully petitioned to remove and expunge past criminal convictions and helped persons gain a fresh start. If you or a loved one desire to expunge a conviction that arose in Chelsea, MI, Washtenaw, Wayne, Jackson, Livingston, or Lenawee County, contact us at 734-887-6200 to see why so many people have chosen The Law Offices of Joseph A. Simon to restore and protect their freedom and reputation.