In late 2020, the state of Michigan became the first to pass a series of bills that would give residents a 'clean slate'. Certain felonies or misdemeanors would be automatically expunged from a person's record after a certain amount of time. As of this past weekend, that bill has been expanded.

As reported by clickondetroit.com, the expanded legislation will allow for, "up to three felonies and an unlimited number of misdemeanors." Also, the waiting periods for charges to be expunged have been reduced. Previously, under House Bill 4980, the conviction for a misdemeanor would be expunged after 7 years, 10 years for a non-assaultive felony. As well, certain marijuana charges were included in the bill for those arrested after December 6, 2018 when marijuana became legal.

The problem is, it seems that most residents who could benefit from this bill are unaware of its existence. These expungements are automatic, yes. However, people can apply to have their records cleared earlier than the automatic time. Those 'clean slates' can lead to

  • better job opportunities
  • better education
  • access to housing

And so much more. But, people need to know about it first.

Certain towns, like Flint, have taken to holding 'Expungement Fairs', inviting their citizens to line up and apply for their expungement in mass quantities. Just this past weekend Flint held it's second Expungement Fair which attracted hundreds of people.

I know a lot of people hold a lot of criticism for certain policies and governments within the state of Michigan but I think this bill is incredible. I know so many people that made a simple mistake when they were younger and were still paying for it decades later. People want to improve their lives for the better and this is an incredible tool to help them on their way. According to clickondetroit.com, officials said these new changes to the 'clean slate' bill will impact nearly one million Michiganders.

Your town may not be holding Expungement Fairs but that doesn't need to slow you down. You can find the application here.

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