(CBS DETROIT) – Mayor Mike Duggan is encouraging all eligible Detroiters to begin the application process now so they have everything in order when the court considers new expungement requests in April.

Last October, the Michigan legislature approved a bill that significantly expanded the number of residents eligible to have criminal offenses expunged from their record. Under the expanded legislation, more than twice as many Detroiters are now eligible to have their records cleared starting April 11.

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Among the key changes in the new law are:

  • Expungement no longer restricted applicants to one felony over a lifetime. In many cases those with 2-3 felonies and a five-year clean record are now eligible.
  • Expungement is no longer limited to only misdemeanors over a lifetime.
  • Expungement is now available for the first time for traffic offenses (other than DWI and traffic accidents involving death)

City officials hope to process 1,000 expungements in the first year after the law takes effect in April. Last year, PCS staff helped about 300 Detroiters clear their records.

Anyone interested in having their record expunged can follow a simple five-step process, which will take between six months to nine months. For more information on Project Clean State, go online to detroitmi.gov/projectcleanslate to begin the registration process.

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Residents can also send an email to projectcleanslate@detroitmi.gov or call 313-237-3024 and leave a voicemail.