In Michigan, people need copies of criminal records for a number of reasons. Criminal records are required for concealed weapon permits, adoption, legal name changes and professional licensing. People who want to modify or have existing records expunged must request a copy. Identity theft victims also should request copies to make certain the perpetrator did not collect arrests or convictions under their names.
For whatever reason you need your criminal record, Michigan has set up a process to get them. Records can be obtained through the state's criminal record repository, the court of conviction and the local law enforcement agency.
In 1968, the State of Michigan passed Act 319, which required uniform crime reporting to the State Police by every law enforcement agency and the courts. MCL 28.251 et. seq. Like all other states, Michigan has a central repository where records are held and maintained once reported. Michigan's repository is called the Criminal Justice Information Center, or CJIC, and is a division within the Michigan State Police. The CJIC provides ways to obtain your records.
Personal records obtained for adoption, visa, immigration or personal reasons require fingerprints. The fee is $30.00 payable to the State of Michigan and can be submitted by check or money order only. Fingerprinting costs are additional and vary per agency. Fingerprint-based individual checks provide all information to you. Name-based checks not requiring fingerprints cost $10.00 and only provide conviction information.
Fingerprint checks are required for most purposes and provide the most information so is the best method to choose if you want a full picture of what is on your record. Checks for employment are generally name-based only and provide more limited information unless it is a licensing board, which requires fingerprint checks by statute.
Michigan requires all fingerprint-based checks to be mailed. While there is no specific form, there is a procedure that must be followed.
Name-only checks can be done to see anyone's records of convictions only, but these checks do not reveal nearly as much information. These checks are done online here. System users are required to set up an account with a valid email address as well as their own name and address. The ten dollar fee is payable using a credit card. In addition to the subject's name, their date of birth is also required to search via Ichat.
Michigan holds records indefinitely. If records are expunged or “set aside”, they will be moved from public view to non-public. Juvenile records are eligible to be set aside under MCL 712A.18e, which outlines the eligible juvenile offenses and procedure. A copy of the juvenile set-aside procedure can be found here. Adults who have only one conviction or one conviction plus two minor offense convictions can also apply to have their record set aside under MCL 780.621. A copy of the statute outlining the process can be found here.
Individuals can request county-specific information through either their local court for the county of conviction or the original arresting agency. However, the information will not include records for any cases that occurred in other counties. You will need your case number to request the information from the court and will need to go in person with valid identification. Fees vary by agency.
Inaccurate information sometimes appears on criminal records. This can be caused by poor communication between agencies, data entry errors and courts failing to report case dispositions. If you find erroneous information on your record, the CJIC directs you to get a certified copy from the court with the correct information and mail it together with a copy of the problematic section to:
Michigan State Police, CRD, Identification Section
P.O. Box 30634
Lansing, Michigan 48909.
The response time is typically 4 to 6 weeks.
Michigan's process to obtain records is fairly straightforward. Just make certain to follow the State's required procedures and you will receive your criminal records within three to five weeks. If there is incorrect information, you can challenge it and have it corrected.
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