Criminal Record

For the first time in Michigan, first-time OWI (a.k.a. drunk driving) offenders will be eligible for record expungement under House Bill 4219 and House Bill 4220.

The bills give those with OWI convictions the option to seek expungement of their first offense five years after probation ends. Applicants must submit a petition to the court, which would be reviewed and determined by a judge. Incidents that caused death or serious injury to a victim are not eligible.  

Together, the bills allow for the criminal record expungement of first-time offenses for: 

  • Any person operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08 or more 
  • Any person operating a vehicle while visibly impaired by alcohol or other controlled substance 
  • A person under 21 years old operating a vehicle with a BAC of .02 or more 
  • Any person from operating a vehicle with any bodily amount of cocaine or a Schedule 1 controlled substance 

However, an individual is not eligible if:

  • It is not a first time conviction;
  • The offense was committed while operating a commercial motor vehicle; or
  • The offense caused injury or death.

In signing the bill, Governor Whitmer said, “These bills allow Michiganders to move on from a past mistake in order to have a clean slate. We must clear a path for first-time offenders so that all residents are able to compete for jobs with a clean record and contribute to their communities in a positive way.”

An estimated 200,000 Michiganders will become eligible when the law takes affect in February 2022.

Follow the link below to watch a video of Barry County Judge Schipper’s opinion on the new law and why he supports the change.

If you would like to learn more about this subject, please contact Tripp, Tagg & Storrs, Attorneys at Law, call 269-948-2900 or 269-945-2242 or visit www.tts.law.

*This blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult an attorney before making important decisions regarding your individual situation.