In December 2012, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law a bill that allows individuals to increase the number of juvenile crimes that are annually erased from their records.
Under the new law, individuals with juvenile records will be allowed to ask courts to erase as many as three misdemeanor offenses from their records each year, pending the case has been closed for at least a year. Under the previous law, individuals were only allowed one expunged misdemeanor offense annually, and eligible cases must have been closed for a minimum of five years.
The law also allows people that were charged as juveniles to request the expunging of one felony offense from their record per year, pending the offense was not a crime that, in an adult court, would be eligible for a life sentence.
State Rep. Joe Haveman (R-Holland), who introduced the bill, said the new law will make it easier for individuals with juvenile records to enroll in college, join the military or seek employment opportunities. Haveman told the Detroit Free Press that passing the bill through the state House and Senate was his proudest achievement of the term.
“Everyone is so gun-shy on this because they think we need to be tough on crime, and it’s politically correct to be tough on crime,” he said. “But we can certainly look at alternatives if people are behaving themselves. And then they can be paying taxes instead of draining taxes.”
Photo courtesy of the Michigan Government.