MICHIGAN — Michiganders are taking advantage of the state’s new “Clean Slate” laws, which aim to help people with minor misdemeanors and get back to work. With unemployment at record lows and numerous small and other businesses looking for workers, this program will help get those jobs filled.
- Creating an automatic process for setting aside eligible misdemeanors after seven years and eligible non-assaultive felonies after 10 years. [NOTE: Not implemented until April 2023.]
- Expanding the number and revises the types of felonies and misdemeanors eligible to be set aside by application.
- Revising the waiting periods before being eligible to apply for a set aside.
- Treating multiple felonies or misdemeanor offenses arising from the same transaction as a single felony or misdemeanor conviction, provided the offenses happened within 24 hours of one another and are not assaultive crimes, or involves possession or use of a dangerous weapon, or is a crime that carries penalty of 10 or more years in prison.
- Expanding set aside eligibility to various traffic offenses.
- Allowing a person to petition to set aside one or more marijuana offenses if the offense would not have been a crime if committed after the use of recreational marijuana by adults became legal in the state.
Attorney General Dana Nessel–a strong proponent of the program–is working to streamline the process and clear out that backlog of applicants. So far this year, AG Nessel’s new department has reviewed 5000 applications, and is in the process of reviewing thousands more.
Last month, Nessel toured the Clean Slate UP program at the Marquette Michigan Works! office. WLUC TV6 reported that she met with staff and clients who shared success stories from using the Clean Slate UP Program. Nessel said she strongly supports the work being done to help Upper Peninsula residents expunge their criminal records.
“They do such a great job of helping people get a fresh start in life, helping people get old convictions off of their record and then helping them find jobs and start their lives anew,” Nessel said. “You don’t have much public transportation up here, and so many people end up picking up one of those [owi] and then 30 years later they haven’t done anything wrong and it holds them back the rest of their lives.”