Minnesota Criminal Expungement
If you have a criminal record in Minnesota, the State’s new Second Chance Law may now allow you to expunge your criminal record and move on in life! As of January 1, 2015 tens of thousands of Minnesota residents are now eligible to expunge their criminal records, improving their employment options, making it easier to get quality housing, and making countless opportunities available to them which were previously unavailable to them.
If you have a criminal record, you already know how embarrassing it can be, and how badly it can hold you back in life. If you are able to expunge your Minnesota criminal record, it will be completely sealed from the public and you can truthfully say that you have never been convicted of a crime. To see if you’re eligible to expunge your record in Minnesota, take our FREE and confidential eligibility test. If you would prefer to speak with one of our Client Records Analysts, feel free to give us a call toll free at (844) 947-3732.
Figuring out whether you qualify for an expungement under Minnesota’s new laws can be difficult, and the process of actually obtaining an expungement can be very complicated and time consuming. As a result, hiring an experienced Minnesota attorney is the best way to maximize your chances of successfully expunging your record.
We understand that an expungement is an investment in your future and for that reason, you can get started for as low as $99 as well as take advantage of our low price guarantee, and flexible, no interest payment plans.
Expungement of Minnesota Arrest Records
When you are arrested by Minnesota law enforcement, but not charged with a criminal offense, the arresting agency and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will generally keep your arrest records on file, regardless of whether you were ever charged. These records are freely available to the public, meaning that employers, landlords, and anybody else may access information about criminal incidents that you may have thought were already behind you.
To expunge arrest records where charges were not filed against you, or they were dismissed prior to a determination of probable cause, you may have your arrest record fully expunged under Minnesota law.
To qualify for this type of expungement, each of the following must be true:
- You have not been convicted of a gross misdemeanor or felony within the last 10 years;
- You did not participate in a diversion program as part of the arrest; and
- All charges were dismissed prior to a determination of probable cause OR the prosecuting authority declined to file charges and a grand jury did not indict you.
Expungement of Minnesota Criminal Records
Minnesota law permits full expungements of convictions that fall into four different categories—if granted, the court can issue an expungement order to seal all court records, records at the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, arresting agencies, and other criminal justice agencies.
You may qualify to expunge a conviction from your Minnesota criminal record in the following four situations:
- You have completed terms of a diversion program or stay of adjudication and you have not been charged with a new crime for at least one year since completing the terms of that program or stay of adjudication;
- You were convicted for a petty misdemeanor and you have not been convicted of a new crime for at least two years since discharge of the sentence;
- You were convicted for a gross misdemeanor and you have not been convicted of a new crime for at least four (4) years since discharge of the sentence; or
- You were convicted for a qualifying felony and you have not been convicted of a new crime for at least five (5) years since discharge of the sentence.
Disqualified Offenses: Even if your conviction fits into one of the above four categories, you may not be granted a full expungement for domestic abuse or sexual assault, stalking, criminal harassment, or violation of a protection order, harassment restraining order, or domestic no contact order. You may also never expunge cases where you were required to register as a sex offender, even if no longer required to do so.
There is No Guarantee for the Expungement of Convictions: Qualifying for full expungement by meeting the requirements of one of the four categories above does not in itself guarantee that you will be granted an expungement. In addition to meeting the above requirements, you will also need to convince a judge that, on balance, granting your expungement is greater than the cost to the public in not having access to your criminal records. In making this determination, a judge will typically weigh factors including:
- The length of time since the crime was committed;
- Your complete criminal record;
- The nature of the crime and its seriousness;
- Your reasons for seeking expungement (e.g., employment, housing, etc.);
- Any risk you may pose to society or specific persons;
- Your employment record and community involvement;
- Recommendations from law enforcement, prosecutors, and victims;
- Aggravating or mitigating factors relating to the underlying crime;
- If there is any outstanding restitution, past efforts paying restitution, and any measures existing to ensure complete payment if the expungement is granted;
- Steps you have taken to rehabilitate yourself since the crime; and
- Any other factors the court feels are relevant.
Minnesota’s new expungement laws have provided a method for thousands of Minnesotans to clear up their criminal records, however, the process involves a lot of work, and is discretionary—a judge has the ultimate say in expunging a conviction from your record. The process of obtaining an expungement takes at least six months, so waiting until you need your criminal record cleaned up is typically too late to make to make a difference—starting the process as soon as possible is vital to ensuring that you do not miss out on opportunities in life due to your past mistakes. The best way to determine if you’re eligible to expunge your Minnesota conviction is to take our Eligibility Test or call us toll free at (844) 947-3732 to find out more.