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expungement attorney in Grand Rapids

As a Grand Rapids expungement lawyer, we understand that past mistakes can have a negative impact on your future. That’s why we are dedicated to helping individuals in the Grand Rapids area clear their criminal records through the expungement process.

At John Engman & Associates, P.C., we understand that everyone makes mistakes, and these should not define your future. Our Grand Rapids expungement lawyers are committed to helping individuals in the Grand Rapids area overcome the challenges of a criminal record through the expungement process.

Expungement is the legal process of sealing or deleting a criminal record. It means that the records will no longer be accessible to the public. This also means they will not show up on background checks. This can significantly impact a person’s ability to find employment, housing, and other opportunities.

We have extensive experience navigating the complex expungement process. We will work closely with you to understand your specific situation and determine if expungement is the right option for you. Furthermore, we will guide you through the process, from filing the initial petition to representing you in court.

Key Benefits of Expungement

A staggering one in four Michigan residents has a misdemeanor conviction, and one in six has a felony conviction. Expunging a criminal offense, also known as setting aside a conviction, is a crucial process where the court seals the conviction from public view. This means your criminal history is no longer accessible to the general public, offering you a chance for a fresh start.

Removing convictions from your criminal history has numerous benefits, especially for felons seeking to shed that label. It can also significantly impact interactions with law enforcement during routine encounters, as a clean record reduces the likelihood of intrusive questioning and vehicle searches.

Job Opportunities

An expungement is a powerful tool that not only clears your criminal record but also serves as a key to unlocking a realm of new job opportunities. A stained criminal record often acts as a formidable barrier during background checks, limiting your chances of securing the employment you desire. However, with the dedicated assistance of criminal attorneys at John Engman & Associates, P.C., expungement becomes the catalyst for change.

Imagine a scenario where employers evaluate your qualifications, skills, and experience without the overshadowing concern of past mistakes. Expungement eliminates the stigma associated with a criminal record, allowing you to present yourself on a level playing field with other job applicants. Employers, free from the preconceived notions that often accompany a criminal history, can now focus on your potential contributions to their team.

Our mission as a Grand Rapids Expungement Attorney is not just to erase legal blemishes; it’s to empower you for a fresh start. Expungement doesn’t just remove barriers; it paves the way for a future where your professional potential is recognized and valued. Whether you’re aiming to advance in your current career or embark on a new professional journey, the doors that were once closed due to a criminal record can swing open, revealing a pathway to new opportunities.

At John Engman & Associates, P.C., we understand the transformative impact that expungement can have on your professional life. Let us guide you through the process, ensuring that your journey to a brighter future includes a thriving and fulfilling career. Take control of your narrative, redefine your professional identity, and open doors to a world of job opportunities with a clean slate.

Housing Prospects

Embarking on the journey to a clean slate, expungement stands as a formidable force in reshaping your housing prospects. At., John Engman & Associates, P.C., we recognize the formidable challenges individuals encounter when seeking secure housing with a stained record. Expungement, functioning as a shield, not only eradicates legal blemishes but also ensures your history remains discreet, shielding you from the discerning eyes of potential landlords and leasing agencies.

Envision a life unencumbered by the shadows of a criminal record when navigating the search for a place to call home. Expungement serves as a safeguard, erasing not just legal infractions but also protecting your past from the meticulous scrutiny of prospective landlords and leasing agencies. Our dedicated team comprehends the intricate nuances of these housing challenges, committed to guiding you through the expungement process.

  • Secure Residences: Expungement opens doors to secure residences, free from biases associated with a criminal past.
  • Clean Slate: Achieving a clean slate through expungement ensures that your housing search is unimpeded by the shadows of past mistakes.
  • Landlord Scrutiny: Expungement shields you from the meticulous scrutiny of landlords, enabling you to present yourself as a qualified and reliable tenant.

As you navigate the expungement journey, envisage a future where the stigma of a criminal record does not stand between you and secure housing. Liberated from preconceived notions, landlords and leasing agencies can now evaluate your application based on your current qualifications, financial stability, and reliability as a tenant.

Fresh Start

In the pursuit of a fresh start, expungement stands as a transformative gateway, offering you the opportunity for unparalleled personal and professional growth, liberated from the lingering shadows of past mistakes. At John Engman & Associates, P.C., we believe in the immense potential that a clean slate holds, transcending the legal realm to enrich every facet of your life.

Imagine a life where the weight of past mistakes no longer casts a shadow on your present endeavors. Expungement not only wipes the slate clean in legal terms but serves as a catalyst for your holistic rejuvenation. Our dedicated team understands that true freedom from the shadows of the past extends beyond legalities—it encompasses the profound impact on your personal and professional well-being.

  • Holistic Growth: Expungement paves the way for holistic growth, fostering positive developments in various aspects of your life.
  • Clean Slate: A clean slate, achieved through expungement, signifies the elimination of hindrances to your personal and professional aspirations.
  • Rejuvenation: Expungement is a process of legal and personal rejuvenation, allowing you to embark on a new journey unburdened by past mistakes.

Embrace the prospect of personal growth, where each step forward is unencumbered by the echoes of yesteryears. Professionally, the clean slate becomes the canvas upon which you can paint new achievements unbound by the limitations of a tarnished record. Your aspirations, dreams, and ambitions are given the chance to flourish, unencumbered by the past.

Our commitment at John Engman & Associates, P.C. extends beyond the legalities of expungement; it is about empowering you to embrace a future full of promise, free from the shadows that may have dimmed your light. Let us guide you through the expungement journey, unlocking the doors to a fresh start that transcends legalities, ushering in a renewed chapter of personal and professional growth.

Whether you’re seeking a job, aiming for a better job, applying to college, or looking to receive public assistance, expunging a criminal offense is a strategic move. We understand the specific forms, procedures, and documentation required for a successful expungement. The process can be lengthy and requires skilled handling by an experienced lawyer. Objections from the state attorney general’s office, local prosecutor, and the victim in the case (if any) may also arise.

Michigan’s Automatic Clean Slate Expungements in 2023

In a groundbreaking move, Michigan rolled out the transformative Clean Slate automatic expungement program in April 2023, ushering in a new era for individuals seeking to free themselves from the shackles of certain felonies and misdemeanors on their records. Under this innovative law, eligible offenses are automatically expunged without any action required on your part.

Automatic Expungements Overview

Certain rules and waiting periods apply, contingent on the nature of the offense:

  1. Felonies: Up to two eligible felonies will be automatically expunged ten years after the date of the sentence or the completion of any term of imprisonment—whichever occurred last.
  2. 93-Day Misdemeanors: Up to four misdemeanors punishable by 93 days or more will be automatically expunged seven years after the date of the sentence.
  3. Other Misdemeanors: There is no limit to the number of misdemeanors that will be automatically set aside if they were punishable by less than 93 days of imprisonment.

Exceptions and Criteria

Certain conditions must be met to be eligible for automatic expungement:

  • No eligibility for those with two or more assaultive convictions.
  • No pending criminal charges.
  • Completion of the 7 or 10-year waiting period, depending on the offense.
  • The conviction type must be eligible for expungement.

Ineligibility for Automatic Expungement

Not all offenses are eligible for automatic expungement. Ineligible offenses include those punishable by at least 10 years in prison, crimes involving assault or dishonesty, serious misdemeanors, homicides, traffic offenses resulting in death or serious injury, human trafficking, abuse of the elderly, and more.

Traditional Expungement Option

Even if automatic expungement is not applicable, individuals can still file a traditional expungement petition. This alternative process allows for the clearance of eligible convictions, offering a pathway to a clean record.

Expert Assistance for a Clear Future

Navigating the complexities of the automatic Clean Slate law can be daunting, but you don’t have to go it alone. With over 30 years of experience, we at John Engman & Associates, P.C., take pride in helping individuals like yourself clean their criminal records. Our satisfaction stems from witnessing clients pull out their criminal history, revealing a blank slate.

Don’t let past mistakes define your future. Let us guide you through the expungement journey. We offer the experience and knowledge needed to ensure a successful resolution. Contact us today and take the first step toward a brighter, unburdened future.

The 2021 Expungment Laws that were reformed, What this means for you!

In a groundbreaking stride towards justice, John Engman & Associates, P.C. proudly introduces the transformative ‘Clean Slate’ laws, effective April 2021. These progressive legislations significantly broaden the horizon of expungement eligibility criteria, reflecting our commitment to providing inclusive and accessible legal solutions. As a beacon of positive change, John Engman & Associates, P.C. takes pride in elucidating the key features of these groundbreaking laws, designed to offer a fresh start to individuals seeking to cleanse their records.

Key Provisions of the Clean Slate Laws

  1. Expanding Eligibility: The Clean Slate laws swing open the doors of expungement to individuals with not more than three felonies and an unlimited number of misdemeanors. This inclusive approach ensures that more individuals have the opportunity to reclaim their futures.
  2. Reduced Waiting Times: Recognizing the urgency for individuals seeking redemption, the laws shorten the waiting times for conviction set-asides. Three years for misdemeanors, five years for felonies, and seven years for multiple felonies—a streamlined process for a prompt path to expungement.
  3. Automated Expungements: A hallmark feature is the automated expungement process. Individuals who have stayed crime-free can benefit from the automatic expungement of up to two felonies after 10 years and four misdemeanors after seven years—no expungement application required.
  4. Traffic Misdemeanor Inclusion: The Clean Slate laws make most traffic misdemeanor offenses eligible for expungement, recognizing the significance of fair opportunities for individuals with a spectrum of offenses.
  5. Misdemeanor Marijuana Offenses: Reflecting a progressive stance, judges are mandated to set aside misdemeanor marijuana offenses within 80 days of application receipt, provided the local prosecutors’ office does not object—a crucial step in alignment with new adult-use weed laws.
  6. The “One Bad Day” Rule: Addressing complexities, the laws treat multiple offenses arising from one crime as a single offense—a pragmatic approach known as the “one bad day” rule.
  7. Enhanced Privacy: Expunged crimes remain shielded from public view, safeguarding individuals from unwarranted scrutiny by employers or landlords. Your past, once expunged, is your private matter.

At John Engman & Associates, P.C., we take pride in our pivotal role in ushering in this era of legal reform. We are currently assisting numerous individuals, including those previously deemed ineligible under the old laws, in filing petitions to cleanse their records. If you’re ready to embrace a fresh start, contact John Engman & Associates, P.C.. We are here to help you navigate the path to a brighter, unburdened future.

Convictions That Are Eligible for Expungement

As a Grand Rapids expungement lawyer, we are here to assist you with any legal matters related to criminal law, DUI/DWI, divorce, drug violations, and family law. In Michigan, the following types of convictions are eligible for expungement:

  • Misdemeanors (excluding certain serious offenses, such as criminal sexual conduct)
  • Certain felony convictions (if the individual has not been convicted of any other felony)
  • Certain traffic offenses
  • Certain juvenile offenses
  • Certain marijuana offenses that are now legal under Michigan’s marijuana laws
  • Certain non-conviction records, such as dismissed charges or acquittals.

It’s important to note that not all convictions are eligible for expungement, and some may require a waiting period before being eligible.

Convictions That Aren’t Eligible for Expungement

Certain offenses cannot be cleared from an individual’s criminal record, including:

  • Most felonies include those that involve violence or sexual misconduct.
  • Some misdemeanors, such as those related to domestic violence or DUI.
  • Traffic offenses that result in a serious accident or injury.
  • Sentences that involve lifetime supervision or registration as a sex offender.

It’s worth noting that while these offenses cannot be expunged, there are other ways to have your record sealed. This can limit its accessibility of it to certain parties like employers. It is advised to consult with our experienced Grand Rapids expungement lawyer at John Engman and Associates, P.C., at 616-454-5222. We will provide more specific guidance on your case.

Waiting Period For An Expungement In Michigan

The waiting period for seeking an expungement in Michigan varies depending on the type of conviction.

The standard waiting term for a high court misdemeanor conviction is seven years from the date of conviction or the date on which the sentence was completed, whichever comes first.

There is often a five-year waiting period following a misdemeanor conviction, beginning on the date of conviction or the day the sentence was completed.

A serious misdemeanor conviction will often result in a ten-year waiting period after the conviction date or the end of the sentence, whichever comes first.

The waiting time for a felony conviction is typically between five and seven years after the date of conviction or the date of sentence completion, whichever comes first.

These are general guidelines, and each case is unique. Our experienced expungement lawyer in Michigan can help you understand the specific waiting period for your case.

OWI and Drunk Driving Expungement

In a historic turn of events, Michigan has enacted a pioneering law that allows individuals convicted of a first-offense drunk driving charge (DUI or OWI) to expunge this conviction from their permanent criminal record. This groundbreaking change, effective February 23, 2022, marks a significant shift, making it possible for individuals with a single OWI conviction to seek a fresh start.

Eligibility for OWI Expungement

To be eligible for expungement, individuals must have only one conviction for drunk driving (OWI or DUI), and a minimum of five (5) years must have elapsed since the completion of probation. This groundbreaking provision signifies a monumental shift in the legal landscape, offering those with a single OWI conviction the opportunity for a clean slate.

Ineligibility for OWI Expungement

However, not everyone qualifies for this expungement privilege. Individuals with more than one DUI on their record or those whose DUI resulted in serious injury or death are not eligible. Moreover, if the DUI transpired in a commercial vehicle, and the individual held a commercial driver’s license (CDL), the OWI conviction remains ineligible for expungement.

Manual Application Process

Unlike OWI convictions subject to the automatic expungement laws passed in 2020, OWI expungement is not automatic. Despite an estimated 200,000 Michigan residents or former residents being eligible to set aside a DUI conviction, the process requires a proactive approach. John Engman & Associates, P.C. encourages those eligible to take advantage of this opportunity and not let a past conviction hinder their future.

The Impact of Expungement

Failure to apply for expungement can have far-reaching consequences. A lingering conviction can affect an individual’s ability to purchase a firearm, travel to Canada, secure employment, and even lease an apartment. Seize the chance for a brighter future by partnering with John Engman & Associates, P.C., and let us guide you through the OWI expungement process.

This historic law signifies a turning point, and with John Engman & Associates, P.C. by your side, you can navigate this transformative legal landscape with confidence. Don’t let the mistakes of the past dictate your future. Contact us today to explore the possibilities and unlock the potential for a clean slate.

Live Out of State? No Problem!

Distance should not be a barrier to reclaiming your clean slate. Our experienced team has successfully assisted numerous clients who, despite having a Michigan criminal conviction, have moved elsewhere. Much of the paperwork can be efficiently handled by our law office through email and mail exchanges. In many cases, only one visit to Michigan is necessary, and sometimes, no appearance is required at all. Don’t let geography hinder your chance to file a petition for expungement. We have the expertise and experience to help, regardless of your location.

There Is Hope if You Don’t Qualify for Expungement.

Even if you don’t qualify for expungement, there’s still a chance to clear your record. It can be challenging if you have multiple convictions that make you ineligible. Our Grand Rapids expungement lawyer have successfully helped clients by filing a post-conviction motion to have one or more prior offenses dismissed, reduced, or changed, making them eligible for expungement. This process can be difficult and may require the cooperation of the prosecutor.

Get Help With Your Expungement

At John Engman and Associates, P.C., you can start the process of deleting your criminal record. Our Grand Rapids expungement lawyer is dedicated to guiding you through the legal complexities of expungement. Furthermore, we will ensure that your petition is completed and presented effectively at your hearing.

Although it is technically possible to complete an expungement without the aid of an attorney, we strongly advise against it. The expungement process is subject to the court’s discretion, with significant latitude in determining approvals. Any errors in the application or lack of thorough preparation can lead to a court denial, necessitating a waiting period before reapplication. To maximize your chances of success, seeking professional assistance is highly recommended.

To schedule your free initial consultation, please get in touch with us at (616) 454-5222. Our team is dedicated to helping you achieve the best possible outcome in your case. If you are looking for a Grand Rapids expungement lawyer to help with your case, you have found the right place!

Visit our Grand Rapids expungement law office today!

Contact Us To Start Moving Forward!

Call us today at (616) 454-5222 and schedule a free initial consultation