How long do I have to wait to expunge a misdemeanor? 6 Answers as of July 11, 2013

I plead no contest to retail fraud 3rd degree two years ago in Michigan. This is my only offense and I'm 52. I was given 1 year probation and a fine, which has been paid. The judge told me I could have this expunged from my record after I completed my probation. I called the district court today and was told I had to wait 5 years! My understanding at my court appearance was I would be able to do this after my 1 year probation was up. Can you tell me what the answer is?

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Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
You must wait 5 years.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/5/2011
Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
Unfortunately for you, the court is correct. The expungement statute in Michigan requires there to be 5 years from conviction before a motion to expunge may be filed.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/30/2011
Dunnings Law Firm
Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
That would be 5 years.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/11/2013
Klisz Law Office, PLLC
Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
If you were a first offender, you should have been eligible for a deferred sentence or advisement. Then, the case automatically dismisses after you get off probation successfully. Ask your attorney who handled the matter and I'm sure they can check their file.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/29/2011
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
Under the expungment statute you have to wait 5 years before you can get a conviction expunged. But I would have to look at the court file since in some cases there are notes that allow the judge to set aside the conviction if everything that the government wants you to do is done. This may be the case and it should be looked into.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/29/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    It depends on what is going on. If you are truly getting an expungement, then yes, you would have to wait five years which means you have three more to go. However, it sounds like what you may be thinking of is a diversion program which is typical for retail fraud cases. Especially first time offenders. The way a diversion program works is that as long as you successfully complete probation, then the charge does not appear on your public record. It actually works better than an expungement because it never enters on your record in the first place. It would only appear on your record if you did not successfully complete probation. Many people incorrectly think of this as an expungement but it isn't. An expungement is when you have a conviction on your record and after waiting the proper amount of time, you petition to have it removed. You need to check your court file to see what exactly it was that you got. If you received diversion, then it shouldn't be on your record. If you were sentenced to probation without diversion, then you'll need to wait three more years before petitioning to have it expunged.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/29/2011
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