Erase Your Past And Start Anew – How To Get An Expungement In Michigan

How To Get An Expungement In MichiganYou may qualify for an expungement of your record in Michigan. Even one conviction on your record no matter what it is, may easily have far reaching consequences on your life in terms of housing, loans and even jobs. Without an expungement, something you did or were falsely convicted of doing when you were young may prevent you from getting the job you were working so hard for or that dream home you need a loan for years later. Thanks to expungements or adjudication for minors, you may once again be able to honestly say you have no criminal record. Even if a background check is performed on ICHAT (Internet Criminal History Access Tool), expunged records will no longer show up. Once you begin the process, it may take up to 6 months to have your conviction set aside. In addition, your ICHAT record may take an additional 30 days to be removed as well.

Getting an expungement in Michigan doesn’t happen overnight. There are many steps involved in the expungement process. Governed by MCL 712A.18e and 780.621, to get you record set aside you must:

Step 1 – Talk to an attorney – If you have considered an expungement, it is likely that there is a good reason. As it is still up to a judge to determine if your record will be expunged, having an attorney to advise you during this time is often quite helpful.

Step 2 – Determine if you are eligible – You must never have had your record expunged, it must be 5 years since the completion of your sentence and your crime must be able to be expunged as some crimes are not open for expungement.

Step 3 – Get and complete an application to set aside the conviction from the court you were convicted in (MC227 for adults and JC66 for juveniles).

Step 4 – Get a certified copy of the judgment of sentence, register of actions or probation order.

Step 5 – You must have/get a Michigan Applicant Fingerprint card which must be filled out.

Step 6 – Submit the application, fingerprint card and proof of the sentence etc along with a processing fee to the Michigan State Police, the court where you were convicted and the Attorney General.

Step 7 – Go to court – It is during this time that it will be decided whether you will have your record expunged or not. You may testify yourself or even bring witnesses to help you prove your case to the judge.

Step 8 – Double check you’ve been removed from ICHAT (30 days after court)

The expungement process in Michigan can be confusing and difficult and you should not do it alone. Finding a skilled and knowledgeable Michigan expungement attorney is important. We can help you feel more comfortable, understand better and get through this otherwise difficult time.

If you think you may qualify for an expungement or would like to know more about expungement in Michigan, Wolverine Law can help. An Ypsilanti attorney primarily serving Ypsilanti and the greater Ann Arbor areas, Wolverine Law has what you need to help you get a fresh start. For your free consultation, contact us by phone at 734.481.8911 or fill out our free consultation form.

Wolverine Law An Affordable Attorney Serving Ypsilanti

Wolverine Law is an affordable attorney in Ypsilanti that offers years of experience, a solid record and a passion for law that sets them apart from other attorneys in the Ann Arbor region. Easy to talk to and concerned with the needs of clients, Wolverine Law goes above other attorneys by being affordable as well as skilled. From the free consultation to the affordable fees for even the most difficult cases, Wolverine Law works for clients to get the best outcome without the high cost.

A good attorney will be sure the client’s needs are met, a great attorney will not only meet those needs but listen to the client and be sure that more than needs are met. Attention to detail and concern with the outcome of each case individually is what Wolverine Law is all about. We understand that each case has different circumstances and for this reason, we make sure to listen as well as impart advice. From the moment you step in the office, we give you our full attention and do our best to keep fees affordable. Willing to work with our clients, Wolverine Law offers options for payment including cash, check or major credit cards and even taking smaller retainers if necessary. Wolverine Law believes that everyone should have access to the best representation possible, not just those who can afford the best.

Wolverine Law is an affordable attorney in Ypsilanti, specializing in many forms of law including but not limited to criminal law including expungement, family law including custody and paternity cases, divorce law, drunk driving, traffic and collections. Primarily serving the cities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Wolverine Law extends its legal services throughout the state of Michigan.

If you are looking for an affordable attorney in Ypsilanti or the surrounding areas, Wolverine Law would like to help you. Contact us by phone at 734.481.8911 or fill out our online form for your FREE Consultation and hire the best and most affordable attorney in Ypsilanti, Wolverine Law.

Michigan Consumer Protection Act and Fair Debt Collection Practice Act

As a consumer, you are protected. When dealing with debt and collections, all consumers are protected by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or the FDCPA. Many state’s including Michigan, have their own laws regarding debt collection that may be different from the FTC or the Federal Trade Commission. In Michigan, consumers are also protected by the Michigan Consumer Protection Act or MCPA.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was first enacted in 1977. It was created to help reduce abuses made by third part debt collectors and protect consumers with debt from harassment including threats, unwanted calls and unwanted disclosure of debts to others. It sets the rules for what is and is not allowed by those trying to recoup debts including limiting how information may gathered by the debt collector. For example, according the FDCPA, a debt collector gleaning information about a consumer’s whereabouts in contact with anyone other than the actual consumer must:

  • Identify himself and why he is calling
  • May not state that a consumer owes any debt
  • May not communicate with any person more than once unless they believe
  • the information was incomplete
  • May not communicate by postcard
  • May not use anything which may communicate they are contacting in regard to debt collection
  • May not communicate with any other person other than the attorney about the consumer after finding out that said consumer is represented by an attorney.

The FDCPA’s definitions of consumers and debt specifically restricts the coverage of this act to personal, family or household transactions and does not apply to business debts. The Michigan Consumer Protection Act was first enacted in 1976 as “AN ACT to prohibit certain methods, acts, and practices in trade or commerce; to prescribe certain powers and duties; to provide for certain remedies, damages, and penalties; to provide for the promulgation of rules; to provide for certain investigations; and to prescribe penalties.” Simply put, it was designed to prevent consumer fraud and make it easier for the consumer to fight back against less than forthcoming and unscrupulous merchants. According to the act, “the conduct of a business providing goods, property or service primarily for personal, family or household purposes …” meaning like the FDCPA, it also does not apply to commercial debts.

Consumer Protection Ypsilanti MI

Wolverine Law has the experience and the knowledge to assist you in dealing with a variety of collections issues including commercial collections, consumer collections and defense of collection actions. If you are looking for an consumer protection attorney Ypsilanti MI and would like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us at 734.481.8911 or set up an appointment for a free consultation.

Family Law – Dealing With Custody Issues In Michigan

While no one anticipates having their marriage break up, the fact of the matter remains, for thousands of couples in Michigan each year, it happens. When there are children involved, the issue of diverse becomes even more complex and issues such as paternity and custody come to the forefront.

Like other types of law, laws regarding families including paternity, divorce and custody, vary from state to state and navigating the laws can be difficult, which is why finding a custody lawyer to help you is imperative.

In Michigan, judges can order different custody arrangements including:

  1. Sole Custody – Can be described as when primary physical custody and legal custody are given to one parent. Physical custody is defined as one parent providing most of the day to day care while legal custody is when the parent is responsible for making the major decisions regarding the upbringing of the child.
  2. Joint Custody – This is form of custody must be agreed upon by both parents which the court will decide. A judge will hear information considered pertinent to the case when deciding how long each parent will have physical custody of the child.

For many parents facing issues regarding custody, there are some questions which are considered most common. According to the site, Michigan Courts located at courts.mi.gov, these are the most frequently asked questions regarding custody law in Michigan:

When can my child decide which parent he/she would like to live with?

  • When the child reaches 18 years of age or is emancipated

Does my child have any input in who he/she would like to live before they are 18?

  • The Child Custody Act requires that a court consider the reasonable preference of the child if the child is of sufficient age to express preference.

What do I do if I disagree with the judge?

  • Any decision may by a family division judge may be appealed to the Michigan Court of Appeals.

How many times can I ask the court to review custody?

  • As many times as you would like however, a parent who is seeking a custody change will be obligated to prove a change in circumstances.

Wolverine Law – A Family Law Attorney Ypsilanti MI

These are just some of the many questions that parents dealing with divorce and custody will more than likely wonder. If you have a question that you would like to ask, feel free to contact Wolverine Law, a wise choice when dealing with custody and other issues in Ypsilanti or the surrounding areas.

When your children’s happiness is at stake, it is imperative that you seek counsel in these situations. Your children’s future is at stake, be sure you find the attorney who is able to assist you. Contact Wolverine Law if you are living in or around Ypsilanti and are dealing with situations regarding divorce, custody or paternity and let us help you.

You may contact us via our online contact form http://www.wolverinelaw.com/contact or simply call us at 734.481.8911.

Ypsilanti Bankruptcy Attorney

In an economy as difficult as today’s, no matter how much we plan, there are simply some things which we cannot prepare for. When dealing with finances, for many it means that bankruptcy is the only solution. While it is important that you try to avoid this outcome, there are some times when this is the only viable solution. If this does happen to you and you find yourself filing for bankruptcy, it is imperative that you find a bankruptcy attorney. The bankruptcy rate in the U.S. in 2011 was approximately 1.3% and although that is down from just 5 years previous, it means that the economy is still trying to rebound. You are not alone.

What is Bankruptcy

While there are different types of bankruptcy which can be filed, two deal with individuals, including Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Chapter 7

Most often, chapter 7 will be what someone is referring to when they say that they are “filing for bankruptcy.” Simply put, Chapter 7 bankruptcies are liquidation bankruptcies. Debt is collected by liquidating of your personal belongings. While this will rid most debts, there are some debts which will not be dismissed including some student loans or child support, for example.

Chapter 13

Chapter 13 is most often referred to as a reorganization bankruptcy. Generally, it begins with the creation of a repayment plan based on your “disposable income”. Over a period of 3 to 5 years, many debts will be paid off completely or at least paid down and at the completion of the plan, most of the remaining debt will be discharged, allowing the filer to move ahead debt free.

Both of these bankruptcy options have pros and cons and a fair amount of paperwork to get through. This can seem overwhelming without the right bankruptcy attorney. There are many issues which need to be attended to including fees which are required, and paperwork which is mandatory before the process can even begin. For this reason, you would be well advised if you are facing these situations, to contact Wolverine Law, your Ypsilanti Bankruptcy Attorney.

Like most issues regarding the law and your rights, it is important that you deal with it quickly. Finding the right lawyer who is knowledgeable and efficient to help you get through this difficult time is imperative and Wolverine Law understands this. If you are facing legal issues in regards to bankruptcy or any other type of legal proceeding and live in the Ypsilanti area, contact us to find out how we can assist you. If you are looking for a qualified Ypsilanti Bankruptcy Attorney, contact Wolverine Law at 734.481.8911 or contact us online.

News On Michigan Traffic Law From A Traffic Lawyer in Ypsilanti MI

Depending on the state, traffic laws and the penalties associated with them will vary. In Michigan, fines for disobeying traffic laws can vary greatly depending on the offense. Although which offenses are punishable will not generally vary from city to city, there may be differences in the fines and penalties associated with the offense. For example, according to 14A District Court (www.14adistrictcourt.org), the following is the fee schedule for non-limited access speeding violations:

  • Speeding 1-5 mph over the limit – $120.00 and 2 points
  • Speeding 6-10 mph over the limit – $130.00 and 2 points
  • Speeding 11-15 mph over the limit – $140.00 and 3 points
  • Speeding 16-20 mph over the limit – $160.00 and 4 points
  • Speeding 21-25 mph over the limit – $180.00 and 4 points
  • Speeding 26-30 mph over the limit – $220.00 and 4 points

According to the 52-1 District Court in Novi, the same offenses have the following fees associated with them:

  • Speeding 1-5 mph over the limit – $115.00 and 2 points
  • Speeding 6-10 mph over the limit – $125.00 and 2 points
  • Speeding 11-15 mph over the limit – $130.00 and 3 points
  • Speeding 16-20 mph over the limit – $140.00 and 4 points
  • Speeding 21-25 mph over the limit – $150.00 and 4 points
  • Speeding 26-30 mph over the limit – $160.00 and 4 points

Despite the difference in fees, the rules still stay the same making it important that you, as an informed motorist, learn the laws regarding traffic in your state. The excuse that you didn’t know, will rarely get you very far in a court of law.

Dealing With Traffic Law

While we may go through our entire life without a problem, most of us will at some point, face some issue in regard to a traffic violation. Whether it is from parking in the wrong spot, speeding or something more serious like drinking and driving, if you are facing being charged with an infraction or a crime, it is your job to know what you need or would like to do and if a lawyer could benefit you.

Like other types of law, traffic law can be confusing and when it comes time to pay the fine and admit guilt or go to court, a good traffic lawyer Ypsilanti MI may be just what you need. If you plead guilty and pay a fine for something serious, you may face not only points and fees but even suspension of your license or loss of your license completely. While punishments like this are generally limited to quite serious offenses, even something you think is small may cost you thousands in insurance premiums throughout the span of your life.

Traffic Lawyer Ypsilanti MI

If you are concerned about a ticket you have received and are not sure what you should do, Wolverine Law works in traffic law in Ypsilanti Michigan and can help you. If you would like more information on how we can help you with issues regarding traffic law, contact us today by phone at 734.481.8911 or contact us online here. Do not try to face the law on your own, let Wolverine Law be there to help you.

Probate Law, Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning

What is Probate Law?

After someone passes away, ownership or at least the legal title of ownership of their property, their personal affects, and other assets will be passed on to the beneficiaries named in the decedents will. If no will has been filed, then then laws of the state in which they passed away will decide who receives said assets. This is what is known as probate.

Probate courts can settle a large variety of issues including the validity of the will itself. The process begins with a petition to open the estate and name a representative f the estate and its property. After this, creditors are given a certain amount of time to file their claim, the representative will then pay the debt and distribute the estate and which point the estate can be closed.

Overall, this may seem quite simple however, the laws, the requirements and the handling of the laws and rights of those involved are quite difficult and require a skilled probate lawyer. Each state has its own set of rules and regulations and in Michigan, navigating these laws can be challenging to say the least. Understanding how Michigan deals with time limits, penalties, and issues such as after-born heirs are just a few of the factors to consider. How Michigan deals with trusts, wills and the power of attorney are also important as well.

Probate Law is not something to be taken lightly. An experienced probate lawyer can assist you during the entire process which can be quite lengthy as well as ensuring that all parties involved receive what is rightly theirs, with or without a will. If you are dealing with issues such as wills, trusts and estate planning, it is important that you don’t wait/ Time limits exist on many issues regarding probate law.

Ypsilanti Probate Lawyer

Wolverine Law offers services regarding probate, wills, trusts and living wills. If you are in need of a probate lawyer in Ypsilanti Mi, contact Wolverine Law. Wolverine Law offers free consultations to help you find out if you have a case. If you live in the Ann Arbor area or throughout Michigan and are in need of legal services, contact Wolverine Law for your free consultation.

DUI Attorney Belleville MI: A DUI Should Not Be Taken Lightly

Like virtually all offenses today, penalties for DUIs or Driving Under the Influence vary from state to state. A DUI is defined as the act of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol above the legal limit. If you are facing a DUI charge you will need a skilled attorney to help you navigate your way through the extremely complicated and detailed laws which are associated with this charge.

There are a number of classifications of DUI laws. Understanding what all these laws and classifications mean and how they will affect you will often require a Michigan DUI attorney. Basically, under Michigan law, the rules relating to drinking and driving are as follows:

  • It is illegal to drive while intoxicated or impaired by drugs, alcohol as well as some prescribed medications.
  • It is illegal to drive with a bodily alcohol content of .08 or more. (This crime is one of the driving while intoxicated offenses.)
  • It is illegal to drive with a bodily alcohol content of .17 or more.(This “High BAC” crime is one of the driving while intoxicated offenses.)
  • It is illegal to drive with any amount of schedule 1 controlled substance in your body including cocaine.

In addition it is also illegal to:

  • If you are under 21, drive with a bodily alcohol content of .02 or more, or with any presence of alcohol in your body except for that consumed at a generally recognized religious ceremony.
  • If you are under 21, Buy, possess, or consume alcoholic beverages. (Michigan.gov)

Michigan has two main offenses in relation to drunk driving which include:

  1. Operating under the influence or OUI
  2. Operating while impaired OWI
  3. In 2010 another drunk driving law was put into affect as well. Called the  Super Drunk Driving Law, you can read more about this law here.  Michigan’s Super Drunk Driving Law

Each has different fines, a different severity and may depend on circumstances, the judge and your DUI attorney. If you are arrested for a DUI, you need to take the charge seriously as the penalties in Michigan can be quite severe and range from fines of over $100 to $500 for a first offense to community service or revocation, denial or suspension of your license and jail time depending on the number of convictions and the outcome of your charge i.e. if you injured anyone or put anyone in danger while under the influence.

DUI Attorney Belleville MI

DUI’s can have serious consequences and are a serious charge, one that you will not want to face alone. Wolverine law is a skilled DUI attorney Belleville MI and has the knowledge to help you. If you live in the Belleville area or greater Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti area and are facing a DUI charge,you should contact Wolverine Law for a free consultation or call and talk to us directly at 734-481-8911. Do not wait until it is to late, contact Wolverine Law right away.

Dealing With A Divorce

We all hope that our marriage will last forever, however, it does not always work out this way. According to the CDC, the number of divorces per year is approximately 3.4 per every 1000 marriages. Although this is unfortunate, the fact remains that divorce does happen and it can be complicated. Wolverine Law is the right choice for divorce and other types of law in the Ypsilanti and surrounding area of Michigan.

Divorce is legally referred to as a dissolution or termination of a marriage depending on the state in which you reside. They are generally categorized as contested or uncontested and rules, laws and issues regarding your divorce may vary from state to state making it imperative that you consider a qualified divorce lawyer.

Once you obtain your divorce attorney, the spouse who is seeking the divorce will prepare a petition and file it with the court in which they are currently living. You may need to check with your state to find out how long you are required to be a resident before you can file for divorce, your lawyer should know this.

Each state offers its own rules for grounds for divorce but are typically classified as fault or no fault. In Michigan, the law allows for either spouse to file for divorce claiming that there is no way to fix or preserve the marriage. A Michigan No Fault Divorce states that:

Revised Statutes of 1846 (EXCERPT)
DIVORCE ( taken from legislature.mi.gov)

  1. A complaint for divorce may be filed in the circuit court upon the allegation that there has been a breakdown of the marriage relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved. In the complaint the plaintiff shall make no other explanation of the grounds for divorce than by the use of the statutory language.

 

  1. The defendant, by answer, may either admit the grounds for divorce alleged or deny them without further explanation. An admission by the defendant of the grounds for divorce may be considered by the court but is not binding on the court’s determination.

 

  1. The court shall enter a judgment dissolving the bonds of matrimony if evidence is presented in open court that there has been a breakdown in the marriage relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved.

 

This is just one of many documents in regard to divorce in the state of Michigan. Other issues relating to property division, spousal support and even child custody and support will need to be resolved when dealing with your divorce no matter where you are and each state will offer you specific rules.

Wolverine Law is a qualified divorce lawyer Michigan and is conveniently located in Ypsilanti MI.  Contact us for a free consultation.

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.