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Juvenile offenders can now get their criminal records expunged under a bill that received rare, unanimous agreement in the Michigan legislature. The law allows juvenile offenders to request that their records be cleared if they have three or fewer misdemeanors or one felony conviction. Prior rules allowed for the request on only one misdemeanor. Offenders will also be able to ask that their records be cleared one year after they’ve completed their sentence and probation, instead of the current five years. If they committed a crime that would be punishable by life in prison in the adult court system, they aren’t eligible to get their record cleared. People with juvenile records often struggle with finding jobs, getting into college or entering the military due to their records, even if their records have been clean for years. “Everyone is so gun-shy on this because they think we need to be tough on crime, and it’s politically correct to be tough on crime,” said the law’s sponsor, Rep. Joe Haveman. “But we can certainly look at alternatives if people are behaving themselves. Then they can be paying taxes instead of draining taxes.”

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