Bills sent to Whitmer would let drunken drivers clear record

Michigan expungement
Michigan expungement
Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 4:05 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan lawmakers have voted to let an estimated 200,000 one-time drunken drivers seek to set aside their conviction.

The Legislature again sent expungement bills to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer after she previously refused to sign similar measures. The legislation received wide bipartisan support Tuesday in the Republican-led House.

It would lift a prohibition barring drunken driving offenders from clearing their record. To be eligible, they could have only one offense and it could not have caused another person’s death or injury. A judge would review any request and made a decision.

The governor did not immediately say if she will sign the latest bills.

The bills build on Michigan’s Clean Slate Law, which passed in October 2020 and took effect in April.

The program will automatically expunge criminal convictions for marijuana offenses and other crimes that don’t involve assault. Certain misdemeanor convictions will be set aside after seven years while certain felony convictions will be set aside after 10 years.

The bills also expand expungement eligibility to more crimes, including traffic offenses. For many people, their crimes will disappear automatically without them having to ask the courts, as long as they don’t commit more crimes during the waiting period.

Any marijuana charge that came after Dec. 6, 2018, and wouldn’t be a crime under Michigan’s legalized marijuana law will be expunged right away.

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