Legal Question in Criminal Law in Michigan

In 2010, I made the mistake of shoplifting at a store. I was an adult at the time. My court process went more or less like this: I plead not guilty, and at the next court date I plead guilty and was given a deal that if I didn't receive any more criminal violations for one year, the case would be dismissed. The case was dismissed after one year, but I still have a "misdemeanor for 3rd degree retail fraud" on my record. My lawyer told me that I would have no record, but when I did my student teaching, my criminal record came back with the misdemeanor. It was a very unpleasant surprise and the school was not very happy about it. I had no intention of lying to the school - I was under the impression that my record was clear!

It would very much appreciated if as many of the following questions could be answered as possible:

- Was there some kind of mistake? Why would my lawyer say I don't have a record and then I actually do?

- Is my only option to clear my record to wait until 5 years have passed and then try to have it expunged?

- If I do indeed have my record expunged, when I go to apply for my teaching license, will the state of Michigan still have access to this information?

- If I have it expunged, will I honestly be able to state on job applications that no, I have not been convicted of any crimes?

- Can schools in the state of Michigan view expunged records?

I have not been able to get straight answers to any of these questions. Please help.

Thank you for your time.

Asked on 7/13/13, 5:06 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

William Morrison Action Defense Center

There is an exception to the "no record" provision of your plea that applies to teachers, some federal employment, and medical personnel. Yes, the state will have access to your record when you apply for your teaching license.

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Answered on 7/14/13, 6:45 am

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