OWI Expungement Coming Soon to Michigan!
FINALLY!! After years of legislative battles; starts and stops; teases and seismic changes in criminal expungement laws, it appears Michigan will finally permit expungement of a first-offense OWI conviction.
Read the full announcement here.
The consequences of a criminal conviction, including an OWI misdemeanor, can be both long-lasting and life-altering. Even a “traffic” offense like DUI/OWI can result in loss of employment or inability to find a job; weapon permit prohibition; inability to travel to certain countries, including Canada; and—of course—public embarrassment. For people who have been convicted of misdemeanor offenses such as OWI, there’s an obvious need to remove that record once they’ve paid their debt to society.
Geherin Law Group, PLLC is a law firm which exclusively handles cases with a Criminal Justice element. The firm has defended thousands of OWI/DUI cases in Ann Arbor and throughout Southeastern Michigan. The firm has also filed and successfully won expungements for hundreds of these clients---just not for OWI clients. Now, it appears the firm can finally start helping many of those clients permanently remove the OWI from their record.
Day in and day out, Dan and his team field calls from clients looking to expunge an old OWI conviction:
“Can I expunge my OWI conviction if I completed probation?”
“How long do I have to wait?”
“What exactly is an “Expungement,” and how does it work?”
“Once my conviction is expunged, what will show up on a background search?”
Now, for the first time ever, GLG will be able to answer the first question with a resounding “YES!”, assuming there was no injury or death resulting from the offense, and other eligibility requirements are met. While there has yet to be an official waiting period announced, most legal experts think the time will be set at three (3) years post-discharge, similar to most other misdemeanor convictions.
MCL 780.621 is the Michigan Statute which governs expungements. Actually, the process refers to “setting aside” a conviction, but expungement is the formal legal term for that process. Under the law, if a person is eligible to apply, he or she must submit an updated fingerprint sample to the Michigan State Police. In turn, the State Police will run a current Comprehensive Criminal History (CCH) record and provide that to the Attorney General’s Office. The AG’s Office typically files a written response arguing whether or not the Petitioner is eligible or not. Then, If eligible, the Petitioner must file a request for hearing in the court where the conviction occurred.
Four to six weeks later, the presiding (or successor) Judge will schedule and conduct a hearing (called a “Motion to Set Aside Conviction Hearing”), at which time the Petitioner might be asked questions under oath about his or her background, performance on probation or parole, and subsequent history. If the Petitioner lives far away, many judges will permit this hearing to be conducted by Zoom. If the Petitioner is represented, the attorney will make an argument about his client’s eligibility and suitability for relief. The prosecutor (either local or AG) will then argue their position, and occasionally will have any victim(s) provide their statements as well. If the Judge grants the motion, a written Order will be signed by the Judge, and sent to the MSP and FBI for processing and removal of public records; a private record will be retained and accessible only by law enforcement. This process typically takes 2-3 weeks after a hearing. At that point, the law allows the Petitioner to say he was never convicted of the offense that was removed. Without question, this fact (combined with the removal from public review) is the reason people seek to have their convictions set aside.
Geherin Law Group founder Daniel T. Geherin is a former prosecutor and board-certified criminal trial attorney who has been practicing law for over 23 years. He’s been rated by Martindale-Hubbell as AV-Preeminent; listed in The Best Lawyers in America; named by Super Lawyers Magazine in the field of Criminal Defense; recognized as a “Top Lawyer” by Detroit Business Magazine; and scored 10/10 “superb” by AVVO.com. He also has received 150+ 5-star client reviews. Dan fully believes that everyone should be given a second chance, so he works tirelessly and aggressively to help people expunge their convictions and obtain the “clean slate” that the laws were intended to promote.
If you or a loved one has been convicted of an OWI in Washtenaw County or Southeastern Michigan, and you want to discuss options on how to expunge that conviction, please call or email Dan and his team 24/7 at (734) 263-2780 or online info@GLGMichigan.com. The firm offers affordable flat fee payment options for expungements; offers student and military discounts; and even allows for discounted rates when the paperwork can be completed by its Firm law students/interns.
To us, your future is Personal.