This page was designed to help our clients better understand our service for setting aside a juvenile offense in Michigan. You will find answers to the questions we are most frequently asked. If your question is related to eligibility requirements please take the free online eligibility test.
Simply click on a question to see its answer:
You are not eligible to set aside/seal your juvenile records if you have been convicted of a felony as an adult. §712A.18e(1)
If you have been adjudicated for more than one offense in juvenile court, you are not eligible. §712A.18e(1)
No. You are not eligible to have a conviction set aside in Michigan if you have any other felony or misdemeanor conviction on your record, including any misdemeanor or felony traffic offense. (People v. Bosma 186 Mich. App. 556 (Mich. Ct. App. 1990)). The only exception is if the conviction for the traffic offense was a "minor offense", which is defined as a " misdemeanor or ordinance violation for which the maximum permissible imprisonment does not exceed 90 days, for which the maximum permissible fine does not exceed $ 1,000.00, and that is committed by a person who is not more than 21 years of age." (MCLS § 780.621(1),(10)(b)).
There does not appear to be any way to reduce a felony down to a misdemeanor or lower level offense in Michigan at this time. The time to do so would have been through plea negotiations with the prosecutor before the conviction.
We will be glad to work with you to get a copy of your record and to review what can be done to help you. We charge $150 and we apply that to the total cost of any service that you hire us to perform.
Cases are denied for the following reasons: (1) an inaccuracy in the court or law enforcement files, (2) an inaccuracy in the application, (3) the court does not believe that setting aside your juvenile record is “consistent with the public welfare” or that your current behavior does not warrant a set aside (4) violating probation (5) not paying fines, or (6) you do not otherwise meet the basic eligibility requirements. . §712A.18e(2)
If the case is denied, we evaluate the reason for the denial and determine the best way to proceed. If we do not believe that refiling would be successful, we recommend the person wait longer to refile.
We are unable to offer a money back guarantee because the process involves a substantial amount of preparation and sometimes several appearances in court by our attorneys. We cannot afford to offer this low of a price and a money back guarantee.
Setting aside your juvenile records in Michigan is similar to getting it sealed. Until you have the juvenile records set aside, it is much easier for members of the general public to gain access to them. Furthermore, state licensing agencies can use your juvenile records years later to deny you a license or permit. §712A.18e(11)
If you commit a future offense that is either a felony or punishable by imprisonment for more than 1 year, the court sentencing you for that future offense can consider your juvenile case that has been set aside. Also, if you apply for a license with the judicial branch (such as an attorney bar license), a job with a law enforcement agency, or a pardon with the Governor, the juvenile offense can be considered. §712A.18e(13)(d-e)
When you are applying for a license with the judicial branch (such as an attorney license), a job with a law enforcement agency, or a pardon with the Governor, you will be required to disclose the conviction. In those cases, you can mention that the juvenile offense has been “set aside.” §712A.18e(13)
No. If your conviction requires you to register as a sex offender, you still must register after your conviction has been set aside.
If you have been convicted of minor offenses (including assault, dangerous driving, DUI, theft, shoplifting, unauthorized possession of firearms, possession of illegal substances, etc.) or indictable criminal offenses (including assault with a deadly weapon, manslaughter, etc.) you may be prohibited from entrance into Canada and further action will be required to find out whether you will be allowed entrance. The Canadian government has entered into an information sharing agreement with the United States, so the Canadian government will have whatever information the United States has on file. Therefore, the first thing you should do is clear your criminal record to the fullest extent possible before submitting to a background check. The benefit of setting aside will show the Canadian government that the matter was resolved and no longer considered a conviction and improve the odds of not being denied entry to Canada or being stuck at the border for lengthy interrogation.
The Border Patrol has discretion in granting or denying Sentri passes. So, the only thing we can say for sure is that it would help; investing in record clearing before applying for a pass would be advantageous. A modest investment in getting a set aside could be the difference between having your request accepted or denied. The set aside will show that you have resolved all matters with the court.
You never lose the right to vote in Michigan unless you are confined in jail or prison. You can vote even if you are on probation or parole.
Yes. Once your offense has been set aside, you are generally eligible to possess a gun again, unless the court order specifically prohibits you from possessing a firearm.
Criminal violations may have severe consequences for immigrants, even if the crime is expunged/vacated/sealed. Even minor offenses such as petty theft can make someone deportable or inadmissible, while more serious offenses such as burglary may not have the same consequences. Since each case is unique, getting a case-by-case analysis tailored to your specific facts is imperative. To find out if your criminal conviction will impact your immigration case, contacting a qualified immigration attorney is vital. Our in-house immigration attorney is available to answer questions at 714-617-8395.
In Michigan, you may serve on a jury if you 1) are at least eighteen years of age, 2) are a citizen of the United States, 3) are able to speak and understand English, 4) are a resident of the county by which you are being summoned, 5) have not served on a jury in any District or Circuit court in the previous twelve months, 6) are not currently serving a sentence for a felony conviction; however, pursuant to M.C.R. 2.511 (D) (2), 6.412 (D), if you have been convicted of a felony in the past, your right to serve may be challenged during jury selection regardless of whether you have completed your sentence.
You can truthfully say you were not adjudicated of any juvenile offenses to any question for employment, unless it is for employment with a law-enforcement agency. In most circumstances, Michigan Comp. Laws section 338.43 prevents licensing agencies from considering cases that did not result in a conviction or offenses that have been set aside. Once your offense has been set aside, it can only be used in narrow circumstances.
Section 19 of the FDIA (Federal Deposit Insurance Act) allows banks and other financial institutions to bar prospective and current employees who have had “Breach of Trust” or "Dishonesty" convictions from jobs that they are otherwise qualified for even if they had the conviction expunged.
"Dishonesty" means directly or indirectly to cheat or defraud; to cheat or defraud for monetary gain or its equivalent; or wrongfully to take property belonging to another in violation of any criminal statute. Dishonesty includes acts involving want of integrity, lack of probity, or a disposition to distort, cheat, or act deceitfully or fraudulently, and may include crimes which federal, state or local laws define as dishonest. "Breach of trust" means a wrongful act, use, misappropriation or omission with respect to any property or fund which has been committed to a person in a fiduciary or official capacity, or the misuse of one's official or fiduciary position to engage in a wrongful act, use, misappropriation or omission.
To determine if a crime involves dishonesty or breach of trust, the statutory elements of the crime itself will be looked at. All convictions for offenses concerning the illegal manufacture, sale, distribution of or trafficking in controlled substances are included. Other offenses can include, but is not limited to, the following: petty theft, grand theft, insufficient checks, burglary, possession of drugs for distribution or sales, embezzlement, fraud, fraud to obtain aid or benefits and money laundering.
If you believe you have a “breach of trust” or "dishonesty" conviction and were denied a position or were terminated from a financial institution because of that offense, there is another way to obtain that job and that is with a waiver from the FDIC. You should speak with an attorney about your specific circumstances to see if you would qualify for such a waiver from the FDIC.
You will need to disclose all juvenile records if you ever apply for a law enforcement agency position in Michigan, whether or not the records have been set aside/sealed. §712A.18e(13)(b)
If you want to join the military, then your record becomes a matter of federal law, not Michigan state law. All branches of the military will want to know about your juvenile offenses, even if they have been set aside/sealed. When dealing with the military, being upfront about your juvenile records is advisable; otherwise, you run the risk of being discharged if you do not disclose them upfront and the military later finds out about your record. §712A.18e(13)(b)
Once your juvenile records have been set aside/sealed, no one at the court or probation office is allowed to release the records to private employers. §712A.18e(11)
If the court sets aside your conviction, your juvenile offense cannot be viewed by any member of the general public. However, various law enforcement or criminal justice agencies (including courts and prosecutors) will still have access to the records but they can only use them in very narrow circumstances. Private employers will never find out about the conviction. §712A.18e(11)
The court will send a copy of the order to the arresting agency as well as the Michigan Department of State Police.
Expungement does not clear your DMV record. However, after a certain number of years the DMV records fall off and disappear, unlike your criminal history which never disappears.