What is a Set-Aside?
In Michigan the term expungement is called a set-aside. If a conviction is set-aside, it will not appear on your public criminal record.
Who is Eligible for a Set-Aside?
You are eligible for a set-aside of your Michigan conviction if:
- Your conviction is for one felony (which is a crime punishable by more than one year in prison), and you do not have any other convictions; or
- Your conviction is for one felony, and you have no more than one or two misdemeanor convictions; or
- You do not have any felony convictions, but you have no more than one or two misdemeanor convictions; and
- You received your sentence for the conviction you want to set-aside at least five years ago, or you finished your probation, parole, or prison term for the conviction at least five years ago. You may apply for a set-aside five years after the most recent of these events.
If you had an earlier conviction set-aside, the court will count it when deciding whether you are eligible for another set-aside. If your earlier conviction was pardoned, the court will not count it.
Your are not eligible for a set-aside if your conviction is for:
- A felony or an attempt to commit a felony that has a maximum punishment of life in prison;
- Domestic violence and you have a prior misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence;
- A traffic offense, including a conviction for driving while intoxicated; or
- A certain sex crime or other crime.
Your are eligible for a set-aside if you committed a crime because you were a victim of human trafficking.
What Effect Does a Set-Aside Have?
If a conviction is set-aside, it will not appear on your public criminal record. For example, if an employer or agency gets your criminal record on the Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT), a conviction that is set-aside should not appear. The conviction will remain on the records used by law enforcement, judges, and government for sentencing and licensing.
When Can I Apply for a Set-Aside?
You can apply for a set-aside of a conviction five years after you received your sentence or finished your probation, parole, or prison term. You may apply for a set-aside five years after the most recent of these events.
If you are eligible for a set-aside because you were a victim of human trafficking, you can apply any time after the conviction.
How Do I Apply for a Set-Aside?
To apply for a set-aside, you must ask the court that convicted you to set-aside the conviction.
Here are the ten steps to apply for a set-aside:
- Fill out the Application To Set Aside Conviction. To access this application, visit the Michigan One Court of Justice Website here: Application To Set Aside Conviction Form. The application is also available at the clerk of the court where you were convicted.The application form has complete instructions on the second page.
- Include a certified record of each conviction that you want set-aside with your application. You can get this certified record from the court clerk in the court where you were convicted.
- Pay the fee for each record.
- Get fingerprinted. Make sure to include a complete set of your fingerprints (an RI-8 card) with your application.
- Pay the $50 filing fee to the State of Michigan.
- Sign your application under oath in the presence of the court clerk or a notary public.
- Make four copies of everything.
- Mail or deliver a copy to the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Center at this address:
Michigan State Police
P.O. Box 30266
Lansing, MI 48909-7766
- Mail or deliver a copy to the Michigan Attorney General at this address:
Michigan Department of Attorney General
G. Mennen Williams Building, 7th Floor
525 W. Ottawa Street
P.O. Box 30212
Lansing, MI 48909
- Mail or deliver a copy to the prosecuting attorney of the county where the conviction occurred. Keep one copy of the complete application with all the attachments for yourself.
The court will hold a hearing on your request to set-aside a conviction. You must attend the hearing, or your request will be dismissed. The prosecuting attorney will notify any victims of your crime, and they may appear at the hearing or send written statements to the court. If the judge decides that your behavior from the time you were convicted and the time you filed your application shows that you deserve a set-aside, and that setting aside the conviction “would not threaten the public welfare,” then the judge will probably set aside your conviction.
More Information About a Set-Aside