Getting a criminal record can wreak havoc to your future plans. It can hinder your personal life too and unless you seek the expertise of an experienced lawyer, finding a way out of this maze is almost nil. When you have a criminal record, you will find that it stands in the way of getting you the job you’ve been coveting for years. Employers are bound to check the background of their prospective employees and if they see a black mark, that will end your career even before it started. It will even threaten your work license, if you already have one. If you are looking for a military career, then the criminal record would soon put an end to that. If you are a student looking to pursue higher studies, this record will never get you admission in any decent university. It will even get in the way of your marriage; some parents discreetly do a background check on their daughters’ fiancés before they consent to the marriage. And if that is not enough the criminal record can seriously affect your bank account, because you will be paying a hefty fine.
According to the law in Michigan, you have one chance to clear your name. The laws are certainly different in Michigan and there is a tiny slight relaxation of rules if you want to expunge your name from criminal record. If you were ever accused of being a criminal in a particular case, expungement is possible if you can seek the assistance of a credible and competent lawyer. The lawyer will advise you on all the possible methods to clear your name. If you had had your name cleared from criminal records once, then it is not possible to do it again.
Here are some pointers to help you while you approach a lawyer:
- The nature of your crime
- You shouldn’t have previous records of expungement
- The number of crimes you are guilty of
- You can appeal for it only after five years of conviction
- And during those five years you need to prove that you were a law abiding citizen; there must be people who can vouch for your good behavior
Even if you had your name expunged from the criminal record, it will still be visible to people who are officially searching for it. Police records, court records and government records will always carry your name. However, your name will be removed from the records that are made available to employers, job applications, school applications, loan applications and so on.
The Process of Expungement
The procedure for expungement can be done only at the advice of a proper lawyer. However, there are certain things that you have to do yourself. You have to get an application form from the court where you were convicted. Submit the application form; your lawyer will help you fill it. This is the first step and once that is completed, you have to go a law enforcement agency in Michigan and get yourself fingerprinted. There will be a Michigan Finger Print Card, which will hold your print and your personal details. Once you submit the application form, you will receive a notification from the Michigan State Police and based on that information you can file a petition. The court will review your case, see that you are eligible for expungement and then arrange for a hearing. Your lawyer will attend the case, speak in your behalf and clear your name. Though it may sound simple, it is actually the knowledge and expertise of your lawyer that will help you win your case.