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Can a MI DUI Be Expunged? The Law for First OWI Convictions

November 21, 2023 John Engman & Associates

Can a MI DUI Be Expunged? The Law for First OWI Convictions

Can a MI DUI be expunged

A DUI conviction can cast a long shadow over your life, leaving lasting consequences that extend far beyond the restoration of your driver’s license. However, there’s encouraging news for individuals with operating while intoxicated (OWI) offenses in Michigan – recent changes to expungement laws have opened the door to the possibility of removing these convictions from your permanent record. The amended laws offer a ray of hope by allowing expungement for various DUI convictions, including instances involving injuries or fatalities. This significant development presents numerous benefits, providing individuals with the opportunity to clear their records and move forward with a fresh start.

As Grand Rapids DUI expungement attorneys, we understand what it takes to get that DUI off your record.  We are happy to take a look at your particular case and advise you on what would be the next appropriate steps.  If you have made a mistake and repaid society through fines, jail time, or probation, you may be eligible for a Grand Rapids DUI expungement.  Call the law offices of John Engman & Associates, P.C. to find out more.

What exactly does DUI expungement entail?

DUI expungement in Michigan is a transformative legal process that goes beyond the restoration of your driving privileges. This significant legal remedy allows for the removal of a DUI conviction from your criminal record, presenting a clean slate for your future endeavors. The implications of this expungement are far-reaching, offering individuals the chance to navigate various aspects of life without the enduring burden of a past mistake.

One of the primary advantages of a successful DUI expungement is the impact it has on employment and educational opportunities. With the conviction expunged, you can answer “no” when asked about prior convictions on job and school applications, opening doors that may have been previously closed. This newfound ability to present yourself without the stigma of a DUI conviction can be pivotal in securing employment or educational pursuits. As an experienced expungement attorney, we understand the complexities of getting records expunged, leaving our clients with a clean slate.

Furthermore, the benefits extend to the realm of background checks and questionnaires. The question always remains: do I need an expungement attorney? Expungement attorneys help with successfully expunging your conviction, shielding it from appearing on background checks, providing a level of privacy, and preventing prospective employers or institutions from discovering this past transgression. This confidentiality can be invaluable in presenting yourself positively to potential employers or educational institutions.

The expungement process, while offering significant advantages, does come with certain limitations that warrant consideration. It’s essential to consult with legal professionals to gain a comprehensive understanding of these limitations and ensure that the expungement aligns with your specific circumstances.

In essence, a successful DUI expungement marks the closure of a challenging chapter in your life, allowing you to embark on a new journey unencumbered by the weight of past mistakes. It’s a legal remedy that not only restores your record but also provides the opportunity for personal and professional growth. If you are considering pursuing a DUI expungement in Michigan, seeking guidance from experienced legal professionals can help you navigate the intricacies of the process and make informed decisions about your future.

Will My DUI Conviction Stay Hidden After Expungement?

While the likelihood of concealing your DUI conviction is high, it’s essential to recognize that the effectiveness of expungement varies across different types of records and entities. In many instances, your conviction will be successfully removed from standard criminal background checks, providing a sense of privacy and a fresh start. However, the landscape of available records is diverse, and the extent of expungement’s reach depends on the entity conducting the check.

Law enforcement agencies may retain access to certain records that might not be visible in a standard criminal background check. Similarly, licensing authorities, such as the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), might have distinct databases accessible during license renewals or applications. Different licensing bodies, like the State Bar for lawyers, maintain their records, which could differ from those available to the general public.

It’s crucial to understand that expungement does not guarantee the removal of your DUI conviction from every conceivable record. Deep background checks, often conducted by specific entities, may uncover arrest details and expungement resolutions. While expungement serves its intended purpose for most people in most scenarios, it’s advisable to be aware of potential nuances in specific circumstances.

In summary, the expungement process significantly reduces the visibility of a criminal record, particularly in standard checks conducted by employers. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that law enforcement entities, both within Michigan and across other states, may still have access to certain conviction details. Seeking legal guidance and understanding the nuances of expungement can empower you to make informed decisions about your privacy and future opportunities.

Will a DUI Appear on My Michigan Driving Record?

Unfortunately, expunging a first-offense OWI from your criminal record does not extend to your driving record under Michigan law. The law explicitly prohibits the removal of the conviction from your driving record, ensuring that it remains visible for seven years from the date of conviction.

Even after the initial seven-year period, the public driving record will display the conviction as “one prior reportable driving conviction.” While this notation may prompt further inquiries into your driving history, it’s crucial to be aware that the appropriate information will persist on your master driving record with the Secretary of State.

It’s important to note that, even after seven years, the Secretary of State may consider the expunged first offense OWI when assessing driving sanctions, particularly if another conviction occurs during this period. The legal framework for handling such situations is not explicitly defined, and as of the date of this article, the Secretary of State has not provided any official comment or guidance.

We remain committed to providing timely updates on our blog once there are developments or clarifications from the Secretary of State on this matter. Stay tuned for the latest information to ensure you have accurate insights into how expungement may impact your driving record and any potential implications for future driving-related matters.

Will Employers Check Both Criminal and Driving Records?

The decision of whether employers will scrutinize both criminal and driving records remains uncertain and varies based on individual company policies and the nature of the job. In situations where the role involves driving responsibilities or the use of a company vehicle, employers are generally inclined to conduct thorough background checks covering both criminal and driving records. This thorough approach becomes particularly relevant when employers seek to identify any past DUI convictions, as such information can influence the suitability of a candidate for the specific position. It’s advisable for job seekers to be aware of the potential for combined checks and to present their best, most accurate record during the hiring process.

Why Look into the Expungement Process for your DUI?

The significance of expunging a Michigan charge lies in the universal desire to avoid having a criminal record. Legislative intent aims to empower individuals with DUI convictions to erase past mistakes and face the future with a fresh start. This holds considerable importance when pursuing employment opportunities, undergoing background checks for volunteer positions, applying to undergraduate and graduate schools, or simply responding to inquiries about one’s past. The expungement process serves as a valuable tool for individuals seeking to enhance their prospects and move forward unburdened by the weight of previous legal issues.

Call John Engman & Associates for Help in Your Grand Rapids Expungement Case

In navigating the complexities of DUI expungement in Grand Rapids, John Engman & Associates, P.C. stands as your dedicated legal ally. A DUI conviction can cast a long shadow, impacting various facets of life, but recent changes in expungement laws offer a glimmer of hope. Our team of experienced attorneys understands the transformative power of expungement, providing you with the opportunity to erase past mistakes and embark on a fresh journey. Whether you’re facing challenges in employment, education, or other aspects of life, our comprehensive advocacy ensures you’re well-equipped for success. If you’re ready to explore the possibilities of DUI expungement and secure a brighter future, contact us for a free consultation. Let John Engman & Associates, P.C. be your partner in navigating the path to a cleaner record and a renewed sense of opportunity.