Clean Slate for Michigan Implementation
Question: What does the new “Clean Slate” law do?
Answer: The new law expands eligibility to petition for an expungement in several ways, and creates a new process that will automatically seal certain non-violent conviction records if a person has remained conviction-free for a period of time (seven years for misdemeanors, 10 years for felonies).
Question: When will the new law become effective?
Answer: There are different answers for the bills related to the petition process and the automatic expungement.
- Expanded eligibility to petition (H.B. 4981-85 & 5120): These bills become effective 180 days from the day they are signed by the governor. Because they were signed on October 12, 2020, the effective date of these bills is April 11, 2021.
- Automatic Expungement (H.B. 4980): This bill has a two-year implementation period. That means the earliest it will become effective is December 30, 2022.
Question: How long will it take for the court to process my petition?
Answer: Processing times vary from court to court, but it is not uncommon for the petition process to take 6 months or more to complete. Many courts schedule the hearing on the petition three months or more after the filing date to allow the State Police and Attorney General’s office to complete the required background check and statutory eligibility analysis. If these steps are not completed before the scheduled hearing date, the hearing will need to be rescheduled. In addition, processing times may also be impacted by hearing backlogs that have accumulated in many courts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please contact the relevant court or a local legal services provider with specific questinos about processing times.
There are a number of free resources available for people who need a lawyer or legal advice. We recommend the free resources produced by Michigan Legal Help, and the free legal services provided by Legal Aid (generally for people whose income is <200% of the federal poverty line). Michigan Legal Help also offers a lawyer referral service for those that are interested and may not qualify for assistance from Legal Aid.
Michigan Legal Help (https://michiganlegalhelp.org/)
Expungement resources (including online eligibility tool): https://michiganlegalhelp.org/self-help-tools/crime-traffic-and-id/i-have-adult-criminal-conviction-i-would-set-aside-expunge
Intake for Legal Aid via Michigan Legal Help
Phone: Phone intake is available through the Counsel and Advocacy Law Line (CALL) at 1-888-783-8190. Operates Monday through Thursday between 9:00am – 5:00pm (and until 6:00 on Wednesday only), or Friday between 9:00am – 1:00pm.
Find your local legal aid: https://www.michbar.org/public_resources/legalaid
Project Clean Slate (free expungement services for Detroit residents)
To register online: https://detroitmi.gov/departments/law-department/project-clean-slate
Other ways to contact: Project Clean Slate, 2 Woodward Avenue, Suite 500 Detroit, MI 48226, (313) 237-3024, Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm, email@example.com
Oakland County MichiganWorks!
Oakland County Michigan Works! launched a program to help eligible county residents expunge certain criminal convictions from their record. To start the process, individuals should complete an online Request for Services at www.oakgov.com/cleanslate. After this information is submitted, a program representative will contact the person with more details on their eligibility.