By Kory Goldsmith
Today in Detroit, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed multiple House bills which will reform Michigan’s criminal justice system thanks to bipartisanship work, making it easier for people with certain misdemeanors and felonies to have their records expunged.
Whitmer signed House Bills 4980-4985 and 5120 and mentioned marijuana charges specifically as an example of how the bills will benefit Michigan residents. Records will be expunged if the offense would not have been a crime after December 2018 when recreational marijuana use by adults became legal in Michigan.
Traffic offences which compile half of criminal cases in Michigan will qualify for expungement with the signing of the bills as well.
“For too long, criminal charges have created barriers to employment, housing, and others for hundreds of thousands of Michiganders,” Whitmer said. “These bipartisan bills will be a gamechanger. They’ll ensure a clean slate. They’ll help us grow our work force and expand access to education and skills training.”
State Rep. Graham Filler, R-DeWitt, who represents the state’s 93rd District agrees.
“I mean this was a team effort,” Filler said. “It’s a great example of legislators working across the aisle to solve real world problems and help Michiganders.”
Rep. David LaGrand, D-Grand Rapids, expressed his support, as well.
“This is transformative, anti-poverty, and pro-public safety,” said LaGrand, who represents the state’s 75th District. “It’s mostly pro dignity.”
Other parts of the bills include setting aside eligible misdemeanors after seven years. Non-Assaultive felonies after ten years.
Expand the types of felonies and misdemeanors eligible to be set aside by application.
If convicted of multiple misdemeanors or felonies within 24 hours that don’t involve possession or use of a weapon, it will be transacted as one felony.
You can read the full press release for more information clicking here.
After the first question of the media Q&A was about the kidnapping plot, Whitmer commented that she didn’t want the bill signings to be lost by answering those questions. Reporters were told by the moderator informing others in virtual attendance to refrain from asking questions about the topic.