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Michigan’s New Expungement Law

Prior to June, 2011, a person only could have a crime expunged from their criminal record more than five years had passed since conviction of the offense or more than five years from imprisonment, whichever was greater, and if that person had not been convicted of any other crime.  However, as of June 23, 2011, Michigan amended its expungement statute to allow for the setting aside of a criminal conviction even if a person has been convicted of two or less minor crimes in addition to the crime for which an application to set aside the conviction was submitted.  A minor crime is defined as a crime that has possible maximum penalties of less than ninety-one days in jail and a fine that does not exceed one thousand dollars.

Despite this very important change, some crimes still cannot be expunged.  They include: traffic offenses; crimes where the maximum possible sentence is life in prison; actual or attempted criminal sexual conduct in the first, second, or third degrees, or actual or attempted assault with the intent to commit felonious criminal sexual conduct.   Furthermore, expungement remains discretionary to the sentencing judge.  Therefore, even if the criteria for filing an expungement are met, a judge could deny the application for expungement.

Expungement Law

If you are hoping to get your record expunged, contact a qualified expungement attorney to help you. Contact Wolverine Law today at 734.481.8911 or fill out our free consultation form to find out how we can assist you.

Stuart Collis, Ypsilanti Attorney, Talks About Consumer Protection

A consumer protection law is created to protect and ensure fairness in competition and information in the marketplace. They are put in place to prevent businesses from having an unfair advantage over their competitors by engaging in unfair or untruthful practices and to provide protection for smaller companies and consumers as well. The ultimate goal of consumer protection is to protect the interests of the consumers. There are violations that may require you as a consumer to retain the services of an attorney in situations that adversely affect. These include fair debt collection practice act violations, Michigan consumer protection act violations and fair credit reporting act violations. If you live in Michigan, an Attorney in Ypsilanti at Wolverine Law may be able to assist you if you have an issue with consumer protection.

Fair Debt Collection Practice Act Violations

If you are in a position where someone is trying to collect debts owed by you such as collection agencies or attorneys, they are regulated by Federal laws from trying to obtain these debts from you. They are not permitted to contact third parties in reference to your debt, they cannot harass you , and cannot threaten to take action not permitted legally without a judgment. Anytime an agency violates these terms, they are subject to fines and legal fees in relation to the case. You and your attorney are ultimately in charge of protecting your interests.

Michigan Consumer Protection Act Violations

Every state has its own specific consumer protection acts in relation to their residents. In Michigan, there are over 30 possible violations of this act. The Michigan Consumer Protection Act was created to protect you, the Michigan consumer, from unfair or deceptive business practices. If you feel that your rights have been violated in cases such as this, judgments by the court may allow you a minimum of $250.00 in damages as well as attorney fees and court costs if the business is found guilty of a violation against you.

Credit History

Fair Credit Reporting Act Violations

The Fair Credit Reporting Act is a Federal Law that regulates collection, distribution and use of consumer information. Consumer reporting agencies or CRA’s are responsible for allowing the consumer to verify the accuracy of their information. They are also responsible for distributing the information, only to be used for credit evaluation and certain other purposes including employment. CRA’s sometimes make mistakes. If these mistakes have an adverse affect on you, you are able to dispute the error. The proper order is to first contact the credit bureau, if you are unable to get the correction made there, you may then have reason to seek an attorney to assist you in removing the error.

If you live in Michigan and are looking for legal representation in a consumer protection violation, an attorney in Ypsilanti may provide you with key services necessary to assist you. Contact Wolverine Law if you have questions on consumer protection and your rights.

Stuart Collis, Ypsilanti Attorney, Talks About Estate Planning

Estate Planning is the process by which you arrange for the disposal of an estate in an attempt to lessen the uncertainties over the administration and to maximize the value of the estate. It usually includes wills, trusts, powers of attorney as well as living wills. Learn a bit about estate planning with Stuart Collis, an Ypsilanti Attorney.

Living Wills and Medical Powers of Attorneys

A living will is a document that provides direction to those around you in the event that you are unable to speak for yourself. Though Michigan does not recognize the living will specifically, it does provide a statute for authorization of Medical Powers of Attorney and gives a person appointed by you the power to make health care decisions for you. This person is called a Patient Advocate. They are only able to act while you are unable to do so, and unless in writing are unable to direct any treatment that is likely to cause death, such as ending medical treatment.

Trusts

A Trust may be established in a variety of cases as decided by you. It is provided as a way for the Grantor, otherwise known as Trustor, Donor or Settler, to benefit one or more than one individual known as a beneficiary. Those in charge of the trust are known as trustees and are responsible for managing the trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries solely. Generally, if your estate is worth less than $600,000 in assets, a trust is not needed in states such as Michigan, as there is no inheritance tax. However, if you are concerned with those receiving your estate due to other reasons, you are always the final decision in whether or not a trust is needed. If you are planning on establishing a trust, it is always advised that you consult an attorney such as an attorney in Ypsilanti.

Wills

A will is different than a trust in that it is a legal tool which specifically states what goes to whom and in what way, but only becomes legal after it is probated after death. Wills are essential for planning how your assets will be distributed after death. If a person fails to create a will, than their estate and assets will have to pass through intestacy, or by the rules of the state. It is always recommended that you create a will and name an executor of your estate even if you have also created a trust, as it will serve as a backup for any assets not mentioned in the trust. There are many legalities involved with the creation and validation of a will, therefore it is always recommended that you consult an attorney when you decide to write a will.

If you live in Michigan and are looking for legal representation in planning your estate, an attorney in Ypsilanti may provide you with key services necessary to assist you in your planning. Contact Wolverine Law if you have questions on Estate Planning including Medical Powers of Attorneys, Trusts or Wills.