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Setting Aside a Juvenile Adjudication


    If you are convicted of a crime as a minor it is called a juvenile adjudication. Setting aside an adjudication clears your juvenile public record. It is sometimes called expungement. This article gives an overview of the process for setting aside a juvenile adjudication. To learn about setting aside an adult conviction, read Setting Aside an Adult Conviction.

    You may want to have an adjudication set aside if you are looking for a new job or a professional license. A juvenile adjudication is not a criminal conviction, but employers and licensing boards may hold an adjudication against you or use it to disqualify you. If your adjudication is set aside, it does not appear in a typical background check.

    The Michigan State Police keeps a nonpublic record of adjudications that have been set aside. Some employers, such as law enforcement agencies, may still be able to see adjudications that have been set aside.

    Am I Eligible to Set Aside a Juvenile Adjudication?

    You must meet certain conditions to have a juvenile adjudication set aside. To learn if you can meet those conditions, read Can I Have My Juvenile Adjudication Set Aside?

    How to Get a Copy of your Record

    Before you can apply to set aside a juvenile adjudication, you need to know your criminal history. Go to the court where you were adjudicated and order a certified record of your adjudication. There will be a cost for this. You can call the court before hand to ask about the exact cost. You will use information on the record to complete your application. You will also file the record as part of your application.

    Applying to Set Aside an Adjudication

    Start the process by filing an Application to Set Aside Adjudication with the court where you were adjudicated. You can use the Do-It-Yourself Expungement (Juvenile Adjudication) to fill out the forms you need.

    You need to go to a local law enforcement agency for a fingerprint card. Tell them you need your fingerprints taken on an applicant card (RI-008). There may be a fee for fingerprinting. If there is it will probably be between $10 and $25. Fill out the cards completely. The Michigan State Police will use this fingerprint card to check your records against its files, and then forward the second set to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) for it to do the same.

    Finally, you must send a copy of your application to the Michigan State Police, the Attorney General, and the prosecutor who handled your adjudication. Send the fingerprints to the Michigan State Police with the application. Read the checklist in the I Have a Juvenile Adjudication That I Would Like to Set Aside (Expunge) toolkit for step-by-step instructions.

    Going to Court

    After you file your application, the court will schedule a hearing where a judge will decide whether to set aside your adjudication. You can help your case if you can do some of the following:

    • Show you haven’t been involved in criminal activity since your adjudication

    • Testify you want your record clean for some specific reason, such as getting a professional license

    • Bring letters of recommendation from employers, churches, or community organizations

    • Bring proof of rehabilitation, such as from a substance abuse program

    • Bring letters of support from family or friends

    • Bring witnesses to support you

    Law enforcement officials and the victims of your crime may testify at the hearing. They can support your application or object to it. To learn more about going to court watch the Going to Court video.

    After Court

    If the judge agrees that your adjudication should be set aside, he or she will enter an order setting aside your adjudication. You must send copies of it to the Michigan State Police.

    If your adjudication is set aside, you will not have to disclose it to potential employers.

    Other Options

    You may not qualify to have your adjudication set aside, or the judge may not order your adjudication set aside. Read What to do if You Don’t Qualify to Set Aside an Adjudication (coming soon) to learn about other options that may lessen the impact of your criminal record.