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New expungement law to benefit many Washtenaw County residents

Judge's Gavel
Public Domain Pictures
Judge's Gavel

Thousands of Washtenaw County residents will soon have their criminal records sealed thanks to a new “Clean Slate for Michigan” law that goes went into effect Tuesday.

Under the new law, the state will begin to automatically expunge up to 4 misdemeanors from a person’s criminal record every 7 years, and 2 felonies every 10 years.

The new law only affects certain convictions and won't apply to crimes involving assault, drunk driving, or where the victim was a minor or vulnerable adult.

Washtenaw County Prosecutor,Eli Savit, says getting a record cleared can have a huge impact on a person, especially when it comes to housing.

“If you’re applying for housing, particularly rental housing, they’ll often ask you if you have a criminal record. What this recoding being sealed means is you don’t have to disclose that anymore. It’s non-public."

Savit says those who get their record cleared are also 11-percent more likely to become gainfully employed within a year’s time.

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Taylor Pinson is a former WEMU news reporter and engineer.
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