Legislation reforming Michigan’s expungement laws has been signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Among other things, the bipartisan package allows a person to set aside marijuana offenses if they would not have been crimes if committed after the state legalized marijuana. Speaking at a ceremony to mark the signing on Monday, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said she’s learned throughout her career having a criminal record stops people from moving forward.
“For those who have been convicted of a crime and paid their debt to society, there is not greater barrier to success than having a criminal record that follows you around for the rest of your life,” Nessel said. “It is a barrier to education, a barrier to employment, and a barrier to supporting those you love and those who love you.”
The legislation also creates an automatic process for setting aside eligible misdemeanors after 7 years and eligible non-violent felonies after 10 years. It expands the number and revises the types of crimes eligible, and expands expungement eligibility to various traffic offenses. Nessel thanked Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist for pushing for the legislation as it made its way through the process.