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Key Takeaways:

  • As a result of recent criminal justice reforms, some first-time offenders may be eligible for expungement of drunk driving convictions from their records.
  • Eligible parties may apply for expungement starting five years after successful completion of their drunk driving sentence, if they do not get arrested for or convicted of any crime during that five-year period.
  • Expungement is a right, not a privilege. If you are turned down for expungement, you are usually ineligible to apply again.
  • You can plead to a lesser charge than an OWI (Operating While Intoxicated, or drunk driving). Usually, that lesser charge is OWVI (or Operating While Visibly Impaired).

Can I Get my Drunk Driving Conviction Expunged From my Record in Michigan?

There has been a recent change to the law surrounding drunk driving records and conviction expungement in Michigan.

For a very long time, the answer was that you could not get your drunk driving conviction expunged from your record in Michigan. However, the state of Michigan very recently passed sweeping criminal justice reform, and one of the areas that changed is expungement for drunk driving offenses.

As a result, for the first time ever—or at least for the first time in very long time—a one-time drunk driving conviction can be expunged from your record in Michigan.

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The requirement for expungement is that you have to only have that one alcohol-related conviction. If you have any other alcohol-related convictions, you do not qualify. You must also successfully complete your sentence for your drunk driving conviction.

In addition, after the first drunk driving sentence has been completed, which means probation has ended, you have to wait 5 years to apply for expungement. During that 5-year period, you cannot get arrested or convicted of any other crime.

The one thing that people considering expungement should understand is this is not a right; it is a privilege. You are given the opportunity for an expungement, but you’re not entitled to one. And if you apply and lose, you can’t try again.

So, you really want to put your best foot forward. If you are going to try to apply for an expungement of a drunk driving conviction, you really, really want to make sure that you get all your ducks in a row, especially in the following ways:

  • You want to make sure that you have an alcohol assessment that shows that your drinking is under control.
  • You want to show that you’ve been going to AA, or that you use some other means, such as outpatient therapy, to get your drinking under control.
  • You want to show a period of sobriety, during which you’re not drinking at all whatsoever.
  • You want to show that you’ve been working.
  • You want to show that you’ve been productive.
  • You want to show that you learned your lesson and that you took the opportunity that the conviction gave you to learn something, and to become a better person.
  • You really want to show the judge that you’ve learned your lesson and that you’re never going to do it again.

For more information on OWI Law in Michigan, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (248) 509-0056 today.

Mark Satawa

Call Today For Your Free Case Strategy Session
(248) 509-0056