Articles Posted in DUI Record Removal

The last two articles about Michigan OWI expungement addressed how to determine if you are eligible for expungement and provided an overview of the procedures that must be followed to obtain an OWI expungement. In both articles we explained why its important for you to seek the advice and assistance of a Michigan Expungement Lawyer.  In this article we will explain some of the benefits and limitations of an OWI expungement.

What does expungement actually mean?

An OWI expungement will remove the conviction from your criminal record, and in most respects, the expungement allow you to proceed in your affairs as though you had never been convicted.  For example, with some limitations that are beyond the scope of this article, a successful OWI expungement will allow you to avoid having to answer “yes” when asked about prior convictions on job and school applications. Again, with some limitations, a successful OWI expungement will also prevent the OWI conviction from showing up on a background check.  and background questionnaires.  Consequently, a successful OWI expungement will close out that chapter of your past and give you a fresh new start.

Seeking and obtaining an expungement of your first OWI offense in Michigan will minimally require the following seven steps: (1) determining eligibility, (2) gathering all the required paperwork, (3) preparing the petition for expungement, (4) serving the petition and all associated paperwork on both the Michigan Attorney General and prosecuting attorney, (5) Filing the petition with the court and obtaining a court date, (6) Preparing for “elocution” and presenting the case to the judge at the hearing, (6) following through subsequent to the hearing to assure the OWI conviction is in fact removed from the criminal record.

Each of these steps is necessary because the new Michigan OWI expungement law sets forth very specific procedures that must be followed meticulously before an OWI expungement case can be presented before a judge. These procedures are summarized below. Understanding and following these procedures comes subsequent to your determining if your Michigan OWI conviction is eligible for expungement. Eligibility was the subject of our previous article on the new Michigan OWI expungement law. We suggest that readers begin with a review of that article before reading this one.

Do I need an attorney to file an expungement?

Expungement of drunk driving convictions has never been allowed in Michigan until recently. On August 23, 2021, Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Enrolled House Bills 4219 and 4220.  Collectively, these two Bills amend the current expungement laws to allow the expungement of a “first violation operating while intoxicated offense.”

While this is a huge step forward for those with drunk driving convictions, the law is not perfect, and has many potential limitations, snags and pitfalls, many of which are clarified below.

When can I file for expungement of my OWI conviction?

If You Can’t do Expungement – What About Pardon or Collateral Attack?

  • To repeat once more; expungement of a Michigan DUI is precluded by law.  

As indicated elsewhere on this blog, it is virtually NOT POSSIBLE to have a Michigan DUI removed from your record, so there is really no reason to contact us to have a Michigan DUI attorney from the Barone Defense Firm confirm this irrefutable fact.

However, from a theoretical perspective, outside of expungement, there are two other considerations, pardon and collateral attack.  The first of these options, a pardon from the governor, is allowed under the Michigan Constitution:

Due to Barone Defense Firm’s expertise in the field of drinking and driving, we are contacted by many persons seeking a way to prevent the public from seeing their drinking and driving convictions.

While we are committed to helping our clients in any way legally and ethically possible we currently prevented from obtaining expungements of our client’s DUI convictions because doing so is unlawful. In other words, Michigan courts are prevented from granting an expungement for an OWI or Impaired offense.

The following provides the basics of the law regarding expungements and other possible solutions to removing a conviction from your records.

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