It has become a brutal, labor intensive process looking for work in Michigan. Even with a perfect resume, an applicant may never be considered for employment in today’s job market. As a result, Michiganders are searching for ways to better invent their “on paper” image. Colleges are flooding with new students and trade schools are packed, but even these credentials may not help potential employers overlook a criminal record when considering someone for employment.
Fortunately, for those who have a limited criminal history, there is a route for redemption. Under M.C.L.A 780.621 (1), “a person who is convicted of not more than 1 offense may file an application with the convicting court for the entry of an order setting aside the conviction.” However, there are a few convictions that will not be forgiven. Section 2 expressly states, “a person shall not apply to have set aside, and a judge shall not set aside, a conviction for a felony for which the maximum punishment is life imprisonment or an attempt to commit a felony for which the maximum punishment is life imprisonment, a conviction for a violation or attempted violation of section 520c, 520d, or 520g of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.520c, 750.520d, and 750.520g, or a conviction for a traffic offence.”
If the prescribed criteria and 5 years has passed since the imposition of the sentence for the conviction seeking to be set aside, or 5 years following the completion of any term of imprisonment for that conviction, whichever occurs later, then an application to set aside judgment may be submitted. A copy of the application and 2 complete sets of fingerprints must be sent to the department of state police. There the information will be compared with the records of the department and then forwarded to the federal bureau of investigation for a comparison with their records. Because of this action, a $50 fee must be paid with the application sent to the department of state police to reimburse expenses incurred.
A copy of the application will be given to the attorney general and the office of the prosecuting attorney who prosecuted the crime, and they have an opportunity to contest the application. If the application is for an assaultive crime or serious misdemeanor the prosecuting attorney must notify the victims. The victim may make a written or oral statement in any proceedings regarding the application to set aside judgment.
Once all of the prescribed information is presented, and a hearing is held, final judgment will be made. Per Section 9, “If the court determines that the circumstances and behavior of the applicant from the date of the applicant’s conviction to the filing of the application warrant setting aside the conviction and that setting aside the conviction is consistent with the public welfare, the court may enter an order setting aside the conviction.” Section 9 also states that, “The setting aside of a conviction under this act is a privilege and conditional and is not a right.”
This may be the final touch that some need to meet the current demand from today’s job market. In hard times, as these are, it becomes necessary to perfect ones appearance to be in the race for employment and having a criminal record is something that none of us can afford to have.