Steps for Having Your Record Set Aside/Expunged
#1 Make an Appointment with Joe Royal
The 15th District Court Probation Department and the Washtenaw County Public Defender’s Office are partnering up to assist those who qualify with the expungement process. We are streamlining the process to be more manageable and less time consuming.
Your first step is to call Joe Royal, Supervisor for the 15th District Probation Department, and schedule an appointment. His phone number is
(734) 794-6761 ext. 47535.
At that appointment, we will do a quick interview to ensure that you qualify under the rules. Then, we will get your criminal history from the Michigan State Police to make sure nothing is missed. With some exceptions, you can expunge up to three felony convictions. There is no limit to the number of misdemeanors you can expunge, but there are limits to the various types of misdemeanors that are expungable.
#2 Fill Out an Application
If your criminal record can be expunged, the next step is to complete an application to set aside those convictions. You will do that in the Probation Office. The application will include:
- Your name and current address.
- A certified record of each conviction you are seeking to expunge. Your certified records will be
obtained at no cost to you.
- A statement that you have not been convicted of ANY offense during the waiting period and there are no charges currently pending in any court.
#3 Get Free Fingerprints
Next, you will obtain an official set of fingerprints. These are done with the cooperation of Ann Arbor Police Department, again, at
no cost to you.
#4 We Send the Packet Out
The application packet is then copied and sent to the Michigan State Police, the convicting court, the prosecuting agency in that court, and the Attorney General. This is the point your case will be turned over to an attorney. The Washtenaw County Public Defender’s Office has agreed to review the files and request a court date from the Court of Original Jurisdiction. They will also distribute the records to the appropriate parties.
#5 A Hearing Date is Set
Lastly, you will wait to be contacted by the Court for a hearing date. Again, you will be represented by someone from the Washtenaw County Public Defender’s Office. You may be called upon by the Judge to explain what has happened with you since this conviction(s) and how your records being expunged will benefit you.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
1. If I have tried once and was unsuccessful, can I try expungement again?
Yes, in 2020 the expungement laws were modified in the State of Michigan. The new laws are being phased in over time. Some cases may soon qualify for automatic set asides.
To see if you qualify, start by contacting Joe Royal
(734) 794-6761 ext. 47535 in the 15th District Court Probation Office for a case review to see if you qualify under the new guidelines. The expanded eligibility includes having multiple convictions from the same transaction, often referred to as one bad night, as well as traffic offenses not previously included.
2. What is the cost to apply for expungement?
If you participate in the City of Ann Arbor Expungement Program,
the expungement process is free. Normally, there are several fees associated with the expungement process including the $50 application fee, certified court records, fingerprinting and attorney’s fees if you choose to retain legal representation. The City of Ann Arbor’s Expungement Program is a partnership with the Washtenaw County Public Defender as legal representation. The normal required fees are not charged to you within this program.
3. How do I know if I qualify for the City of Ann Arbor’s Expungement Program? What if the crime I was convicted of occurred elsewhere?
Eligible candidates for this program are those who have at least
one of the following:
- A prior felony from 22nd Circuit Court (Washtenaw County)
- Live, work, go to school in the City of Ann Arbor,
- Have a prior conviction from the 15th District Court
4. What is the difference between criminal record “set asides” and “expungements?”
These names refer to the same process. “Setting aside” a conviction is the name for clearing one’s public criminal record. Juvenile offenses, called “adjudications” are also eligible using this same process.