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How long dose a misdemeanor stay on you record

Perry, MI |
Attorney answers 4


Criminal convictions will stay on your record until you die unless your state has some mechanism for sealing or erasing them.


A criminal conviction will stay on your record unless you seek expungement. Generally, for one to have the option to file a motion to set aside conviction, you can only have one conviction on your record. As such, if you have prior convictions this misdemeanor will stay on your criminal record.


It stays on your record forever. To prevent this, you can seek legal action to overturn the conviction. If some time has gone by, the main legal motion is a Motion for Relief from Judgment, complaining about the procedures that led to the conviction. If it wins, you get the right to a new trial. If you win at the new trial, or make certain types of plea bargains, the conviction goes away.

If it is the only conviction you have (and sometimes if you have other misdemeanors) you can file a motion for expungement, which would be decided by the sentencing judge. You do not need to show any legal deficiency in the conviction. If it wins, the conviction disappears.

You can also file an application for a pardon, which goes through the parole board before being decided by the governor. Once again, you do not need to show legal error. If it works, the conviction goes away. Good luck.

Contact me at 248-399-6930 for a free consultation. You and I do not have an attorney-client relationship formed by our communications on this website. Advice given by me on this website is general advice based on partial information. You should not rely on any advice given without first hiring a lawyer in the area where the case is pending, and providing that lawyer with full information.


Forever, unless you obtain a pardon or an expungement. However, misdemeanor traffic offenses written under the motor vehicle code (for example, drunk driving offenses) cannot be expunged. Also, if you have multiple convictions on your record you are not eligible for an expungement unless the other offense of offenses are considered to be minor offenses. The bottom line is that you should consult with an attorney to review your entire file if you want to pursue an expungement or a pardon.