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What Are Michigan’s Expungement Laws for Marijuana Offenses in Grand Rapids

November 21, 2023 John Engman & Associates

What Are Michigan’s Expungement Laws for Marijuana Offenses in Grand Rapids

marijuana expungement laws

With the legalization of marijuana in Michigan for both medicinal and recreational use, a significant number of individuals still bear the weight of past convictions related to marijuana offenses on their records. Michigan’s Clean Slate law, a recent legislative milestone, has ushered in transformative changes to the expungement landscape. The legislation addresses various criminal convictions, and notably, it brings a progressive approach to handling marijuana-related offenses.

The Clean Slate law enables individuals convicted of marijuana-related offenses, such as possession, use, or possession of paraphernalia, to seek expungement without a waiting period. This means that individuals with convictions related to conduct that would no longer be considered illegal after December 6, 2018, can now request the court to set aside their convictions. The absence of a waiting period and the absence of a limit on the number of expungements for marijuana convictions distinguish this rule from others.

When seeking an expungement for a marijuana conviction, the burden is on the prosecution to contest the request. Unlike objections for other convictions, the prosecution cannot cite the presence of additional convictions on the record but may argue that the conduct leading to the conviction remains illegal. For instance, if the initial charge was possession with intent to distribute but was later pleaded down to simple possession, the prosecution might contest the expungement on the grounds that the conduct was still illegal.

If the prosecution raises objections, a court hearing will be conducted to determine the validity of the expungement. Importantly, the new law establishes a rebuttable presumption that the conduct leading to marijuana-related offenses is no longer illegal. Therefore, the onus is on the prosecution to demonstrate why the individual does not qualify for expungement or why setting aside the conviction would be inappropriate. In cases where the prosecution does not file an answer, the court is obligated to grant the expungement request.

It’s crucial to note that individuals seeking expungement for marijuana convictions must file their requests with the convicting court. This implies that if multiple marijuana convictions exist across different counties, separate applications must be submitted to each respective county. Michigan’s Clean Slate law represents a significant step forward in recognizing the evolving legal landscape surrounding marijuana and providing individuals with a pathway to a clean record.

Clearing Your Record: Expunging Marijuana Convictions in Michigan

In the aftermath of Michigan’s groundbreaking marijuana legalization law in 2018 and the subsequent enactment of the “Clean Slate Act” in 2021, individuals burdened by prior weed-related convictions now have a clear pathway to expunge these offenses from their records. For those grappling with convictions related to marijuana crimes predating 2018, which are no longer considered criminal, the opportunity to seek expungement under the new laws is a welcome development.

The Clean Slate Act, a distinctive legal framework, stands out by allowing the expungement of any number of marijuana-related convictions, marking a significant departure from the limitations imposed on other offenses covered by the 2021 law. Notably, this progressive legislation introduces a crucial benefit not seen in expungements for different crimes, such as a DUI expungement– there is no waiting period for individuals seeking expungement of marijuana convictions.

Initiating the expungement process involves filing a petition with the state to request the removal of the marijuana-related conviction from the individual’s record. The courts undertake a thorough review and evaluation of the expungement request, ensuring a fair and just assessment. While the court has the authority to scrutinize the application, the unique aspect of marijuana-related convictions lies in the burden of proof, placing the responsibility on the prosecution to demonstrate why the expungement is improper.

Navigating the intricacies of the expungement process for marijuana convictions requires a nuanced understanding of Michigan’s evolving legal landscape, specifically the Clean Slate Act. Seeking professional guidance becomes paramount in maximizing the likelihood of a successful Grand Rapids marijuana expungement hinges on a good knowledgable expungement attorney. At John Engman & Associates, P.C., our Grand Rapids legal team boasts expertise in the nuances of Michigan’s ever-changing laws, offering comprehensive assistance to individuals navigating the complexities of marijuana-related expungement. We go beyond the basics, ensuring our clients receive informed and effective guidance throughout the expungement process, empowering them to move forward with confidence and a clean record.

Our commitment to justice and the belief in second chances drive our advocacy for those seeking to expunge marijuana convictions. By choosing John Engman & Associates, P.C., individuals gain access to experienced legal professionals who understand the evolving landscape of marijuana laws and are dedicated to guiding clients toward a cleaner record. Take the first step toward a brighter future by consulting with our team and exploring the possibilities the Clean Slate Act offers for expunging marijuana convictions. Call 616-454-5222 today to find out more.