Recently a client contacted me about an old case of his. He was originally charged with solicitation (aka propositioning a woman for sex) and his attorney at the time secured a resolution where the prosecutor agreed that the charges would be dismissed after a period of probation. Sounds good, right? Wrong.
The problem for the client is that when a background check was run, the charges still showed up. While it was great that there was no “official” record of him being convicted of something pretty embarrassing, there was still a public record of him having been charged, which is almost as bad. But what could he do? The charges had been dismissed. I have to admit I was stumped…but then I had an idea.
There is a fairly obscure Michigan Court Rule that allows for public records to be sealed. A motion must be filed requesting that the record be sealed and the filer must establish “good cause” for why the record should be sealed. In this case the public record was preventing my client from securing a promotion at work. Further, since the prosecutor had already agreed that the charges should be dismissed it seemed that they would put up little resistance to my motion.
At a hearing in the 36th District I argued to the judge that the record remaining public essentially rendered the dismissal partially useless. While it was great that my client didn’t have a conviction, anyone could still see what he had been charged with and the resolution of the case, which had the same practical effect as a conviction. Thankfully the judge agreed and the file was sealed. Now my client has no conviction AND his entire file is sealed.
If you, a friend or family member has questions about expungements or are in a similar situation, please contact Chris Kessel Law today.