Expungement Attorneys in Minnesota
Expungement in Minnesota
Minnesota does allow you have your criminal record expunged. There are two types of expungement in Minnesota. The first is a “full expungement”, meaning that your records with the court AND records with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, police departments, corrections, and other agencies, are destroyed. To be eligible for a full expungement you must meet the following requirements:
- some first time drug possession offenses under certain laws;
- your offense was committed as a juvenile, but you were prosecuted in adult criminal court;
- your case was resolved in your favor (i.e. not guilty, dismissed, acquitted);
- some other convictions.
If you were convicted of a petty misdemeanor, misdemeanor, or gross misdemeanor you may still be eligible depending on:
- what crime you were convicted of;
- the time since your sentence was discharged; and
- your other criminal history.
Only specific types of felony crimes may qualify for a full expungement.
If you were convicted, you may also qualify for a full expungement under the following circumstances:
- you have successfully completed the terms of a diversion program or stay of adjudication AND you have not been charged with a new crime for at least one (1) year since you completed the diversion program or stay of adjudication;
- you were convicted of, or received a stayed sentence, for a petty misdemeanor or misdemeanor AND you have not been convicted of a new crime for at least two (2) years since the discharge of the sentence;
- you were convicted, or received a stayed sentence, for a gross misdemeanor AND you have not been convicted of a new crime for at least four (4) years since the discharge of your sentence;
- you were convicted, or received a stayed sentence, for a qualifying felony AND you have not been convicted of a new crime for at least five (5) years since the discharge of your sentence.
The court may NOT grant full expungements if the crime involved domestic abuse or sexual assault, a violation of an order for protection, a harassment restraining order, or a domestic abuse no contact order, stalking, or criminal harassment.
If you have made it this far and your case does not fit the criteria above for a “full expungement” you still have options. The court may still seal only its records. In these situations, there still may be a public record of your criminal case at another agency (i.e. the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension). Those records may show up on background checks for employment, licensing, or housing.
Minnesota does not allow for expungement in any cases where you are required to register as a sex offender, even if you are no longer required to register.
Finally, just because you are eligible for expungement, there are no guarantees the court will grant your petition. In making their decision, the court will use some of the following factors:
- the nature and severity of the underlying crime;
- the risk, if any, you pose to specific people or society;
- the time passed since the crime occurred;
- the steps you have taken to rehabilitate since the crime was committed;
- any aggravating or mitigating factors relating to the underlying crime, including your level of participation and context and/or circumstances of the underlying crime;
- the reason you are petitioning for expungement (i.e. housing, employment)
- your complete criminal record;
- your employment and community involvement;
- recommendations of law enforcement, prosecutors, and corrections officials;
- recommendations of victims or whether the victim(s) of the crime were minors;
- amount of outstanding restitution, if any, and your efforts to make payment, and the measures in place to ensure completion of payment if your petition for expungement is granted;
- any other factors the court deems relevant.