With the Clean Slate Act going into effect on April 11, WMU-Cooley Law School Associate Dean Tracey Brame and the law school’s Access to Justice Staff Attorney Kamau Sandiford hosted a training session for attorneys during the Grand Rapids Bar Association and Legal Aid’s Spring Training Session on Thursday, March 25.
Brame and Sandiford described the current expungement statute, and changes that are the result of the Clean Slate Act. Individuals will be eligible for expungement after the appropriate waiting period of 10 years for certain felonies, or seven years for certain misdemeanors has passed. Most traffic offenses will be available for expungement except: DUIs, offenses causing injury or death, and offenses while operating a commercial vehicle. Those who qualify for automatic expungement can have no more than two felonies and four 93-day misdemeanors expunged during their lifetime.
The Clean Slate Act will also allow individuals convicted of low-level misdemeanor marijuana offenses to apply for expungement. Brame said the law creates a presumption that these offenses were based on activities that would not have been considered crimes on or after Dec. 6, 2018.
During the presentation, Sandiford explained that under HB 4980, the state will be required to have an automated expungement program in place by April 2023. Crimes that will not be considered for automatic expungement include: assaultive crimes; serious misdemeanors; crimes of dishonesty; offenses punishable by 10 or more years imprisonment; violations related to human trafficking; and crimes committed against minors, vulnerable adults, injury or serious impairment, or death.