The information provided is meant to be an overview of current law. Laws are subject to change.
This is not intended to replace competent legal counsel.
Destruction of Records
Records may be expunged once a person reaches age 18, or one year after disposition or detention, whichever is later. Click the links for procedural instructions to set aside adjudication and forms (JC 66 and JC 105).
Your record may be expunged for up to three offenses if:
You have only one adjudication for an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult and not more than two adjudications for an offense if committed by an adult that would be a misdemeanor; or
You only have no more than three adjudications for offenses that would be a misdemeanor if committed by an adult.
Multiple adjudications arising out of a series of acts may count as only one offense if the offenses were in a continuous time sequence of 12 hours or less and displayed a single intent and goal and that none of the adjudications constitute any of the following:
(a) An assaultive crime.
(b) An offense involving the use or possession of a weapon.
(c) An offense with a maximum penalty of 10 or more years imprisonment.
A "life offense" (an offense that has life as the maximum sentence) or a Motor Vehicle Code offense that involves the operation of a motor vehicle at the time of the offense cannot be expunged.
If you have an adult felony conviction you cannot have your juvenile record expunged.
An expunged record may still be used for limited court or law enforcement purposes but it is not a public record.
MCR 3.925(E)(2)C "…the court must destroy files and records pertaining to a person’s juvenile offenses when the person becomes 30 years old." This applies to the Court’s files and records, not the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN).
Consequences of a Juvenile Record
Acceptance Into The Military
The Armed Forces generally will not accept a person with an adult felony on their record. Those with drug offenses (adult or juvenile) are not accepted. Some misdemeanor convictions may not prevent acceptance; however assaultive or weapon offenses may still prevent acceptance. A person cannot enlist while on active probation.
Possession of a Firearm
Michigan law requires purchaser to be 18; Federal law is 21. Technically, a juvenile adjudication should not prevent a person from purchasing a firearm. However, since juvenile adjudications are reported in the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN) and are sometimes not distinguished as juvenile offenses, a person may be denied. If so, you must contact the Michigan State Police in Lansing. A juvenile adjudication may prevent obtaining a concealed pistol license.
Sex Offender Registry MCL 28.722
The following rules apply to juvenile offenders:
Only juvenile offenders who are 14 or older at the time of the offense are required to register if the offense is what is called a Tier III offense.
Tier III offenses are:
- A Tier II offender subsequently convicted of another Tier I or Tier II offense.
- Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) 1st, CSC 3rd and Assault with Intent to Commit CSC (penetration) [MCL 750.520b, 750.520d and 750.520g(1)]
- If the offense involves a "Romeo and Juliet" situation then registration won’t be required if proven at a hearing by a preponderance of the evidence, where the prosecutor is given notice that:
- The victim was between the ages of 13 – 16;
- The offender juvenile was not more than 4 years older than the victim; and
- The sexual conduct was consensual.
- CSC 2nd or Assault with Intent to Commit CSC (sexual contact) where victim is under 13 [MCL 750.520c or MCL 750.520g(2)]
- CSC 4th committed by an individual 17 years of age or older against an individual less than 13 years of age.[MCL 750.520e] This only applies in adult court.
- Kidnapping if victim is a minor (under 18 years old) [MCL750.349]
- Enticing/Kidnapping a child under age 14 (take away, lead, decoy or entice with intent to detain or conceal child from parent or legal guardian) [MCL750.350]
- Gross indecency committed against a victim under age 13 [ MCL 750.338, 750.338a, 750.338b]
- An Attempt or Conspiracy to Commit a Tier III offense.
- An offense substantially similar to a Tier III offense under the law of the United States, another state or country, or tribal or military law.
A juvenile offender who is under 14 at the time of the offense will not have to register.
Juvenile offenders will not appear on the public registry, only on the law enforcement registry.
Juveniles convicted as an adult in Circuit Court (waiver to adult court) or convicted in a designated proceeding in Juvenile Court register as adults and are subject to adult registration rules.
Removal from Sex Offender Registry
Juvenile offenders who are now registered but are not required to register under the new law can petition the court for removal. This basically means a juvenile who was under 14 at the time of the offense, those adjudicated for indecent exposure, and those adjudicated for any non-Tier III offense.
Tier III Juvenile offenders are required to register for life and may petition the court for removal after 25 years if certain conditions are met including no conviction for a felony or certain other offenses, and probation was successfully completed.
The Michigan State Police in accordance with the law that was revised in 2011 have removed juvenile offenders from the Public Sex Offender Registry and have removed completely juvenile offenders who were under 14 years of age at the time of the offense. [However, some offenders who were under 14 years old at the time of the offense but were charged after they turned 14 may have been missed therefore a petition may be necessary to get removed from the Registry.] All juveniles who were adjudicated for Tier I or II offenses have been removed.
Effect of a Juvenile Record on Adult Sentencing Guidelines
Adult felony sentences are determined by using the Michigan Sentencing Guidelines. The Sentencing Guidelines score points based upon Prior Record Variables (PRV) and Offense Variables (OV) in a grid. Each grid has a range, in months, of what must be the minimum sentence given to the offender. All juvenile adjudications can be taken into consideration when establishing adult sentencing guidelines. A single juvenile adjudication could make the difference between no jail and jail. Multiple adjudications could make the difference between jail and prison.
Technically when one applies for a job and is asked have you been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony you can honestly say no if you have no adult convictions but do have juvenile adjudications. However, since juvenile adjudications are reported in Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN) the prospective employer will have that information available when the applicant’s record is checked. So, it is probably best to advise the employer upfront regarding the juvenile record.