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Governor Signs Chamber-Backed Bills to Ease Expungement of Crimes

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today signed Chamber-backed legislation making it easier for residents to get past convictions erased from their record. It is the latest sweeping criminal justice package to become law during the 2019-20 legislative term.

The Chamber supports this package as part of its 2020 policy priority for criminal justice reform. The Chamber has been a longtime advocate of policies creating pathways for returning citizens to rejoin the workforce and create new talent pools for businesses.

Gov. Whitmer signed HB 4980, HB 4981, HB 4982, HB 4983, HB 4984, HB 4985, and HB 5120, setting up an automatic process for setting aside eligible misdemeanors after seven years and some non-assaultive felonies after 10 years.

The bills also:

  • Expand the number and types of felonies and misdemeanors eligible to be set aside;
  • Revise the waiting period before someone can apply for expungement;
  • Treat multiple felonies or misdemeanor convictions arising from the same offense as a single felony or misdemeanor in some circumstances;
  • Add traffic offenses as those eligible for expungement;
  • Allows for expungement of a marijuana offense if it would now be legal in Michigan because of the legalization of recreational marijuana use.

This criminal justice package had overwhelming bipartisan support.