Michigan workers get criminal records cleared at Expungement Job Fair

340 convictions being wiped, with many people with more than one conviction
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 7:10 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - More than 300 people showed up to the Lansing American Job Center to get their criminal records expunged Monday.

Background: Capital Area Michigan Works! to host Expungement Job Fair

The entire expungement process can be overwhelming. There’s a lot that goes into removing a criminal conviction. The Capital Area Michigan Works! Expungement Fair aims to make that process easier for some. Those with older convictions have better odds.

Despite waiting up to two hours, attendees were eager to erase the impact that a criminal record can have on almost every aspect of their life, from finding a job to obtaining loans.

A 15-year-old conviction can really get in the way of life happening.

“It’s been interfering with the work that I want to do“, said Nick Russon. “And so I heard about this program from someone with the fug, it’s a local organization and they pointed me here, and I said this is a great opportunity to get rid of something that’s holding me back.”

When you get in trouble, it may not seem important at the time. That was the case for Shawn Carr, who said he’s got involved to help find work and support his family.

“Things happen and I got in trouble a long time ago, when I was young, and I was a bit on the rowdy side,” Carr said. “That was really what got me with a record.”

Stephen Rideout, an attorney from Michigan Works!, is helping eligible individuals set aside their convictions. Up to three felonies and an unlimited amount of misdemeanors can be expunged - which includes offenses such as marijuana charges, traffic offenses and first-time operating while intoxicated.

“Many people had more than one conviction. So their lives have been changed in many ways,” Rideout said. “They’re now more eligible for housing, for higher education, for loans and it just clears their mind too.”

If the laws change or you have an old offense lingering out there, you may qualify for getting your criminal record expunged. There is an expungement fair Feb. 10 in Grand Rapids. You can apply online here.

Expungement guidelines can be found on the Michigan Attorney General website.

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