Updated Law Helps People Keep Their Criminal Record Clean After an Arrest
An updated Michigan law helps people keep their criminal record clear.
A Little Background First
When a person is arrested, the record of that arrest and the person’s fingerprints is sent to the Michigan State Police. The arrest record goes on the person’s criminal record. The arrest portion of the record could only be destroyed when a person received a not guilty verdict at trial. (Certain plea bargains seals a person’s record too).
This left a gap in the law. A person who beat their case before trial, perhaps by motion or a prosecutor’s dismissal, was stuck with the arrest on their record, even though they beat the case. This is unfair and didn’t make sense logically.
(To be fair, some judges would still order destruction of arrest record and some prosecutors agreed, despite the hole in the law).
What Does the Updated Law Do?
The updated law fills this gap. Now a court must order the destruction of arrest information and fingerprints following a dismissal before trial. The court must do so after 60 days, unless the prosecution objects or agrees to an earlier dismissal.
Beating the Case Before Trial
Obviously, criminal defense lawyers look for ways to beat a case before trial. We don’t want to wait until trial to win if we can help it. Sometimes we might file a motion to dismiss based on a legal principle. We investigate the case and show the prosecutor reasons for dismissal. A person with a dismissed case should have a clean record. This updated law makes that happen.
Sam Bernstein is a Criminal Defense Attorney in Ann Arbor & Ypsilanti.
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI.