DETROIT (WXYZ) — Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is urging Detroiters who will become eligible for criminal record expungement when a new law goes into effect to come forward now.
The law, which was signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer last year, goes into effect on April 11. It significantly expanded the number of people who would be eligible for expungement.
Among the changes are:
- Expungement no longer restricted applicants to one felony over a lifetime. In many cases those with 2-3 felonies and a five year clean record are now eligible.
- Expungement is no longer limited to only misdemeanors over a lifetime.
- Expungement is now available for the first time for traffic offenses (other than DWI and traffic accidents involving death)
Duggan is urging Detroiters who may be eligible for what is being called Project Clean Slate to come forward and explore their options now. You can begin the application process on the City of Detroit's website.
”Thousands of Detroiters have lived for too long with this obstacle to opportunity, and we don’t want them to have to wait a day longer than necessary to have that barrier removed,” said Mayor Duggan in a news release. ”If you start the process today, our team of lawyers will get right to work for you, so you can be ready to have your case heard as quickly as possible after April 11th and start again with a clean slate.”
Mayor Duggan said he hopes the city will be able to process 1,000 expungements in the first year after the law takes effect in April.
The city provided the following information in a news release:
- Visit detroitmi.gov/projectcleanslate [lnks.gd] to begin registration process. Residents can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 313-237-3024 and leave a voicemail. All calls will be returned within 5 business days. PCS staff will review your eligibility.
- If PCS determines you are eligible, PCS will make an appointment for you to be fingerprinted free of charge so staff can verify your identity and request your police and court records. Each applicant is required to have their fingerprints taken for verification purposes.
- Your city attorneys will file your Application for to set aside your convictions with the court.
- Approximately 90 days later, you will attend a hearing represented by your PCS attorney.
- Approximately 4-6 weeks after the hearing, you will receive a notice of your expunged conviction.
The program is only open to City of Detroit residents and proof of Detroit residency must be provided. Other requirements include:
- No more than 3 felony convictions (no more than 2 assaultive, with exclusions).
- No operating while intoxicated, no traffic causing injury/death, no traffic if have CDL.
- Depending on the type of offense, the incident must have taken place either three, five or seven years prior. PCS staff will go through each offense with their clients.
- Under the new legislation, multiple offenses that occurred as part of the same incident may be treated as one conviction (with some exceptions)