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Politics & Government

Michigan House passes plan to expand the state’s expungement laws

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Lester Graham
/
Michigan Radio
The Michigan House of Representatives. Union members protested today in a State House committee room.

A plan to expand the state’s expungement laws passed out of the state House Tuesday.

The bills would add additional crimes to what can be taken off of a person’s record. Those include most traffic offenses and some actions involving marijuana that are now legal under the state’s recreational marijuana law.

It would also allow for automatic expungement in some cases.

Democratic Representative Yousef Rabhi is a bill sponsor.

“This is about justice. This is about making sure that people in our society who have served their time, who have paid back their debt, are able to re-enter our communities as citizens just like us,” he said.

Republican Representative Beau LaFave voted against the bills. He said there are too many violent felonies on people’s records that would be up for expungement, but not the first offense for operating while intoxicated.

“I don’t think that it’s fair that felony domestic abusers are going to be able to get their records expunged, but not individuals who have committed the heinous crime of a three-month misdemeanor of driving with a .08 in their system,” he said.

The law would allow people who have no more than three total felony offenses to apply for those convictions to be set aside. The applicant could not have more than two convictions for an assaultive crime during his or her lifetime. The offense also could not have been punishable by more than 10 years.

The bills passed with bipartisan support. The legislation will now go to the state Senate.

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