Can you get domestic violence charges expunged in Michigan?

Asked on Aug 11th, 2011 on Criminal Law - Michigan
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I was charged with a domestic violence and a DUI on the same night 5 years ago. My wife and I are still married and have gone through marriage counseling. We were having troubles in our marriage and this was a one time thing. Having the domestic violence charge on my record has limited so much of what we can do. I was told by my lawyer that the charge would drop off my record in 5 years which is why I agreed to having it put on my record instead of going to jail. My wife was pregnant at the time of the court date and I didn't want to leave her. If we would have known the truth I would have never agreed. Can I have it expunged?
Answered on Aug 24th, 2011 at 4:49 PM
Were you convicted of the DUI as well? If so, you would not be eligible to have any of the charges expunged because in order to be eligible for an expungement, you can only have one charge of any kind on your record. Sometimes you can get a status with Domestic Violence charges similar to 7411 for drug cases where if you complete probation, the charge will not appear on your public record. If that was not the case and you have the DUI on your record as well, sorry to say that you are stuck with both charges.

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Answered on Aug 13th, 2011 at 10:35 AM
No, because you cannot have any crimes expunged if you have more than one. Why didnt you get it taken under 769.4(a)? That is available to first time DV offenders? Very odd.

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Answered on Aug 12th, 2011 at 12:57 PM
After 5 years, you could request an expungement from the court. This is not automatic and is within the discretion of the court. To be eligible for expungement, you can have only one conviction. If you were convicted of both OWI and domestic violence it can't be expunged.

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Answered on Aug 12th, 2011 at 12:27 PM
Did you go through domestic violence counseling? If so get an attorney to look into the matter. Maybe he can get the prosecutor and judge to let you withdraw the plea.

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Answered on Aug 12th, 2011 at 12:03 PM
If you have two misdemeanour convictions, then you cannot get an expungement. Unfortunately, that information from the other attorney would be incorrect if you have two misdemeanors. One common technique used to address the situation, is MCL 769.4a. At the time of a plea in a first offense Domestic Violence, is a special treatment under this statute. It involves probation and then the DV not being on your record. This should have been talked about at the time of your plea. If this was not done, then your case would need to be reviewed to see if you are in a Court where the Judge would consider a motion to re-open the case and consider this treatment. Most Judges would not because the case is so old. However, if you are interested, you may contact my office to consider if you have any options. Another procedure would be to file a motion to vacate the original plea. This is more complicated, and again would depend on your Court and the prosecutor.

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Answered on Aug 12th, 2011 at 7:07 AM
Possibly. I address many of these issues on my website: Because you have two prior convictions, you are not eligible for an "expungement" per se. On the other hand, it may be possible to have the domestic violence judgment set aside based upon the fact that you were fraudulently induced to plead by a lawyer who lied to you about the case being removed from your record after five years. If I were to look closely at your case, it is possible that additional justifications for relief may be found as well.

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