Under Michigan law, there are two major prerequisites to obtaining an expungement. First, you may only have one conviction. This includes misdemeanors and felony convictions. In other words, you are not eligible if you have two or more misdemeanor convictions, two or more felony convictions, or if you have a misdemeanor and a felony conviction. There is one exception to this rule – your conviction may be set aside if you have one or two other convictions for “minor” offenses (“minor” offenses are those with maximum sentences of 90 days in jail or a fine $1,000, and the conviction occurred when you 21 or younger). Note: deferred judgments of guilt are not counted as a conviction for expungement purposes.
Second, your conviction must be at least five years old, or you have been out of prison for five years, whichever is later. You are not eligible until five years have elapsed. These are statutory limitations, so the court does not have room to circumvent these basic requirements. If you have more than one conviction, you will be denied. If you seek an expungement before five years have elapsed, you will be denied. Don’t waste your time (and money).
Most types of criminal convictions can be expunged. This includes most felonies and misdemeanors. However, there are limits to what can be expunged. In general, there are five types of convictions that cannot be expunged:

  1.   Crimes that carry a maximum potential sentence of life imprisonment.
  2.   An attempt to commit a crime that carries a maximum potential sentence of life imprisonment.
  3.   Criminal sexual conduct offenses.
  4.   Attempted criminal sexual conduct offenses.
  5.   Traffic offenses.

A traffic offense means a violation of the Michigan vehicle code, MCL 257.1 to 257.923, or a local ordinance substantially corresponding to that act, which violation involves the operation of a vehicle and at the time of the violation is a felony or misdemeanor. The Michigan vehicle code can be found in many public libraries and on the state website at The list of traffic offenses are too numerous to list. Local law libraries and municipal clerk offices can help you locate local ordinances corresponding to the state vehicle code.

Examples of the types of convictions that cannot be expunged include:

Armed Robbery


Assault with Intent to Commit Armed Robbery

Kidnapping enticing child Murder (First and Second Degree)

Assault with Intent to Murder Manufacturing Explosives Causing Serious Impairment

Attempted Murder

Performance of a Procedure on a Live Infant with Intent to Cause Death

Bank Robbery

Perjury Committed in a Capital Case

Boarding Train to Rob

Placing an Explosive Causing Serious Impairment

Burglary with Explosives

Placing an Offensive or Injurious Substance Causing Serious Impairment


Poison Food/Drinks/Wells Causing Large Injury

Counterfeiting Coins

Poison Food/Drinks/Water Supply Causing Serious Impairment

Criminal Sexual Conduct (including Rape)

Possessing an Explosive Causing Serious Impairment

Death by Explosives at or Near Building

Prisoner Taking a Hostage

Narcotics over 1,000 grams

Selling an Explosive Causing Serious Impairment

Harmful Device Causing Serious Impairment

Solicitation of Murder

Hindering Prosecution of Terrorism

Stopping Train to Rob

Hindering Prosecution of Terrorism Act of Terrorism

Taking a Woman and Compelling her to Marry

Inciting Fighting Animal Resulting in Death

Terrorism without Causing Death

Indecent Exposure by Sexually Delinquent Person

Trains Blocking or Wrecking Railroad Tracks

Irritant or Irritant Device Causing Death

Trains Endangering Travel

If you have been convicted of a crime that currently cannot be expunged, your best recourse is to contact your state senator or state representative and appeal to them to propose a change in the law. You can locate your state representative or state senator online at:.Legislators
You can also pursue a pardon from the Governor, but pardons are rarely granted (pardons are briefly discussed in the expungement kit).