Can You Expunge Traffic Violations?

Criminal Law
Driver's License Restoration
Can You Expunge Traffic Violations?

Can You Expunge Traffic Violations?

by Van Den Heuvel Law Office

A single traffic conviction can have lasting impacts. If you have a traffic crime on your record, you may be eligible for expungement. Expunging a record means that the crime will not be publically visible, and you are not obligated to disclose it. Applying for employment, rent and other important matters will be easier since the crime will not come into play when a background check is completed. However, if you’re trying to expunge a traffic violation in Michigan, there are certain laws and limitations you must be aware of. A Grand Rapids criminal defense lawyer at the Van Den Heuvel Law Office can help you explore your options at a private consultation. 

Understanding Expungement Laws in Michigan

Expungement is the process of removing criminal convictions from a record. An expunged record means that the crime will be inaccessible to the public, but it will still be available to law enforcement. 

In the past, expungement in Michigan was only available for specific circumstances, and several pre-conditions had to be fulfilled. Traffic offenses were among the convictions that could not be set aside. When the Clean Slate Act became effective in 2021, Michigan laws were updated to allow traffic offenses to be eligible for expungement in certain cases. Laws changed further on February 19, 2022, when Michigan’s legislature was revised to allow first-time OWI convictions to be qualified for expungement as long as the incident did not cause an injury or death. The following convictions may be eligible to be expunged from a record: 

  • Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) greater than 0.08
  • Driving while visibly intoxicated or using a controlled substance
  • Having a BAC of at least 0.02 when operating a vehicle before the age of 21
  • Driving while under the influence of cocaine or a Schedule 1 restricted narcotic in any amount

What Traffic Offenses Are Eligible For Expungement?

With these laws in place, several types of traffic offenses are eligible for expungement once a certain length of time has passed. For general criminal convictions, an individual may expunge up to two assault convictions, three felonies, one DUI offense and an unlimited number of misdemeanors. 

If you are convicted of more than one traffic-related felony for the same offense, and the punishment involves more than 10 years of jail time, you cannot expunge these crimes from your record. Other unqualified convictions include a DUI charge related to an accident that led to injury or death, driving while intoxicated with a Commercial Driver’s License and any traffic offenses that caused an injury or death. 

Discuss Your Case With an Attorney

A criminal record can have lasting impacts on your life, and traffic offenses are no exception. Since expungement may not be available for everyone, it’s important to review your case with a knowledgeable Michigan criminal defense attorney. The Van Den Heuvel Law Office provides insight into your situation and uncovers what options are available. Contact our firm for an initial consultation to discuss the possibility of expungement.



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