Michigan Now Allows for Automatic Expungement of Certain Marijuana Convictions

Starting April 1, 2021 Michigan will start the process of expunging certain marijuana misdemeanor convictions.   The new law allows individuals that had previously been convicted of marijuana misdemeanors to apply to have the conviction cleared off of their criminal record but only if the offense would not be considered illegal if it were to have been committed after December 6, 2018 (Read The Law Here).  The process requires the individual to submit an application for expungement to the county prosecuting attorney that prosecuted the original case.  The prosecuting attorney is to either approve or deny the application for expungement.  If the prosecuting attorney approves the expungement or fails to file a response within 60 days, the circuit court must grant the expungement within 21 days.  If the prosecuting attorney objects to the expungement application, the circuit court will schedule an evidentiary hearing within 30 days where the prosecuting attorney has the burden of proof to show that it is more likely than not (preponderance of evidence) that the charged offense would not have been legal even if it were to have occurred after December 6, 2018.

It is important to understand that the prosecuting attorney  must present evidence at the hearing to show that the conduct wouldn’t have been legal today.  This hearing will be governed by the Michigan Rules of Evidence.  This will require the prosecuting attorney to present evidence, most likely police officer testimony, to show why the misdemeanor would have been illegal prior to thee enactment of the  adult-use marijuana laws.  This testimony will be subject to cross examination and having an attorney that understands the rules of evidence and the current marihuana laws can be critical to the success of an expungement application.   If you have any questions about the new expungement laws please call the Covert Law Firm at (517) 512-8364 to speak with attorneys who are knowledgeable and can help you get the expungement you deserve.

 

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