Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation Monday that reforms Michigan’s criminal expungement laws by allowing people with low-level marijuana convictions to have their records expunged. She also approved other “clean slate” criminal justice reform bills that will expand record expungement for other convictions, including certain traffic offenses.
Whitmer signed House Bills 4980, 4981, 4982, 4983, 4984, 4985 and 5120. These bills include changes such as allowing individuals to set aside one or more marijuana offenses if the offense would not have been a crime if committed after recreational marijuana use became legal in Michigan. Michigan legalized the use of recreational marijuana in November 2018.
The changes in the bills additionally include creating an automatic process for setting aside eligible misdemeanors after seven years and non-assaultive felonies after 10 years; expanding and revising the number and types of felonies and misdemeanors that can be set aside by application; revising the waiting period for eligibility; expanding eligibility to certain traffic offenses; and treating multiple offenses that arise from the same transaction and occur within 24 hours of one another as a single felony or misdemeanor conviction.
This is a historic day in Michigan. These bipartisan bills are a game changer for people who are seeking opportunities for employment, housing, and more, and they will help ensure a clean slate for hundreds of thousands of Michiganders. This is also an opportunity to grow our workforce and expand access to job training and education for so many people. I am proud to sign these bills today alongside Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist and many of the bipartisan leaders who worked on them.
According to a press release issued by the governor’s office, hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents could be eligible to have their records expunged by this new legislation.