Successful Plea Reached

In some cases, a “win” is a not guilty verdict at the end of a hard fought trial.  In other cases, finding a way to avoid trial and still make your client happy is what’s best for all parties involved.  In a case this week, while there was no trial, there was definitely a win for our client.  Originally, our client was charged with two felonies: breaking and entering a building and malicious destruction of property – greater than $20,000.  Each of these charges carries up to 10 years in the Michigan department of corrections, as well as thousands of dollars in fines.  Our client has a wife and a young son, so even a jail sentence was not an option.

Thankfully, our client had hired two of Michigan’s top criminal defense attorneys.  After having multiple meetings with the special prosecutor out of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, we were able to have both felony counts reduced to misdemeanors.  Not only that, but we were able to lock in a sentence of probation, meaning our client wouldn’t have a spend a single night away from his family.  However, this plea had another positive note to it.  By only having two misdemeanors on his record, out client will be eligible to have his convictions set aside (expungement) after his probation is complete.

Chris Kessel is an expert in expungements and wanted to make sure that when this process is over, his client will have a clean record.  In Michigan, a person may have two misdemeanors on their record and have them BOTH expunged afterwards.  Thus, not only will our client avoid a felony conviction and jail time, but his record will be clean when all is said and done.

New Expungement Bill Signed

In a rare move by the Michigan Legislature and Governor Snyder, a bill was signed into law today that actually makes like a bit easier for those with a criminal record.  The new bill makes it possible for a person with 2 misdemeanors OR 1 NON-VIOLENT felony to have the convictions removed from their record.

Under the new law, once 5 years from the date of sentencing have passed (or 5 years after any release from incarceration, whichever is later) a person may begin the process for an expungement.  If your criminal record consists of 2 misdemeanors and 1 felony, you can now petition to have the felony expunged.  Further, if a person has 2 misdemeanors on their record, they may now petition to have 1 or both convictions set aside.  The new law also allows for an expungement even for an assaultive crime, which was not permitted before.  It requires that the prosecution notify the victim and that he/she be allowed to be present and speak at the expungement hearing.  There are, of course, certain exceptions for crimes that will not be expunged.  These include convictions involving Criminal Sexual Conduct (though not CSC 4, depending on the circumstances), major drug crimes, human trafficking, and any crimes where the punishment is up to life in prison. 

Everyone knows that having a clean criminal record is key to gaining employment, entering higher education, and even a basic sense of dignity.  If you, a family member, or friend believes they may be eligible for an expungement, contact the attorneys at Nessel and Kessel Law today.


Here is a link to a story in the Free Press as well as a link to the new bill.