Skip to main content.
  1. News & Info

March 9 2022

Client Alert - Courts to Begin Processing First-Offender Operating While Intoxicated Convictions for Expungement

By: Dominic T. Clolinger

On August 23, 2021, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed House Bills 4219 and 4220 into law, broadening the number of Michiganders who may qualify for expungement.  As of March 9, 2022, individuals who have received a first offense operating while intoxicated (“OWI”) conviction may apply to have the conviction expunged. To get a conviction set aside or “expunged” means that, with certain narrow exceptions, the conviction will not be discoverable by the public.  Specifically, the conviction will be removed from the individual’s criminal record, but a non-public record will remain available to the courts and law enforcement.  Further, the OWI will remain visible on the individual’s driving record for at least seven years.

For an individual to have a first offense OWI expunged, judicial oversight and approval is required. To file, an applicant must wait a period of five-seven years from the date the sentence was completed. The length of the waiting period depends upon whether other crimes are included in the application for expungement.  If an applicant’s expungement petition is unsuccessful, the applicant must wait another three years until they are eligible to apply again.

If you have questions about expungement, the application process, or whether you qualify for the automatic expungement system, please feel free to contact any of our Mika Meyers litigation attorneys, including Daniel J. Broxup, Bradley A. Fowler, and Dominic T. Clolinger.