Expungements are just the first step in the process to clear a person’s criminal record. An expungement “sets aside” a criminal conviction. You may have heard that after the expungement is granted, you can answer ‘no’ if asked on an employment application if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime. However, even an expunged record can appear on background checks and be used against you in certain circumstances.
Expunged records are referred to as “set aside or sealed.” This means the record is non-public and should not appear on most employment or housing background checks. But official records of the conviction are not destroyed and may be searchable with more sophisticated background screenings.
Additionally, an expunged record can be used for sentence enhancement. If ever convicted of a subsequent crime, the expunged record will be considered in determining and potentially enhancing or lengthening the sentence. These records can also have negative effects on government employment, concealed carry permits and business licensing.
But a criminal record doesn’t have to limit your opportunities. In October 2020, Govenor Gretchen Whitmer signed into law a package of seven bills that will expand access to expungement to Michigan residents. The laws will go into effect in April 2021. You could qualify if you couldn’t before.
If you have concerns about a criminal record, call GLLG today to discuss the next steps in the expungement process.