Expungement in Minnesota
Using “The Second Chance Law” with Our Help – (701) 237-6983
A previous criminal conviction, or even a charge, can haunt an individual throughout many facets of their day-to-day life. Most people often do not even know the true extent to which a prior criminal case can be a detriment to their life until it is happening to them. In order to seal previous criminal cases and gain a second chance at a happy, productive life, the people of Minnesota can use the state’s expungement laws, which were updated and expanded in 2015. More criminal cases can now be expunged than ever before—sealing the records of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the agency that often holds the records used in background checks by employers and landlords.
If you have been charged or convicted of a crime in the past, there is no better time than right now to learn if expungement will work for your criminal records. Contact Vogel Law Firm and talk to our Minnesota criminal defense attorneys about your options today.
What Exactly is Expungement in Minnesota?
Expungement is a court ordered sealing of criminal records held by several government agencies, and it prohibits the disclosure of even the existence of the records or their opening except under court order and specific circumstances. If a criminal record is expunged, then it will not be seen during a criminal background check.
Expungement will help you with background checks conducted by:
- Educational institutions
Expungement is not guaranteed, though. You must satisfy legal prerequisites, complete extensive waiting periods after conviction or charges are filed, and convince the judge presiding over your expungement case that you are deserving of the request.
Who is Eligible for Expungement?
Generally, all crimes charged as a petty misdemeanor, misdemeanor, or gross misdemeanor are eligible for expungement, or are “expungeable”. Many criminal violations involving controlled substance offenses resolved through a statutory stay of adjudication (Minn. Stat. § 152.18) are also eligible for expungement, as well as certain cases involving juveniles prosecuted as adults. Only specific felony offenses are expungeable. If you have been convicted of a felony, talk to our Minnesota expungement attorneys to learn whether or not your conviction qualifies for expungement. It is worth noting that no offense requiring registration as a predatory offender is eligible for expungement.
Here are five important considerations regarding expungement waiting periods:
- You can seek immediate expungement if your charge was dismissed without a guilty plea, or you were found not guilty at trial.
- You must wait one year to seek expungement if you received a stay of adjudication or began a diversion program to have your charge dismissed.
- You must wait two years following discharge from probation to seek expungement if you were convicted of or received a stayed sentence for a petty misdemeanor.
- You must wait four years to seek expungement following discharge from probation if you were convicted of or received a stayed sentence for a gross misdemeanor.
- You must wait five years to seek expungement following the completion of sentencing requirements for a felony offense conviction.
It is important to remember that the time limits discussed above are minimal time limit requirements before which you may even seek expungement. Our Minnesota criminal defense lawyers can study your case and determine if you must wait longer for expungement. Contact us at your first chance to learn more.
Expungement Process & Working with an Attorney
The process for seeking expungement can be lengthy and complicated, especially if you are not familiar with the nuances of Minnesota’s criminal justice system. It begins with the filing a petition and fees with the correct court, moves to a hearing that may involve the victim of the apparent criminal offense, and concludes with a judge’s final say. All the while, the burden to prove both that your expungement is beneficial and that you are not any danger to the public, in most cases,–– remains on you.
At Vogel Law Firm, our Minnesota criminal defense attorneys have an impressive record of successful expungements for charges and convictions. Not only are we well-versed in expungement law as it stands in the state, but we have also intentionally placed our focus on staying atop legal developments as they arise. Rather than attempting to navigate the complex expungement process on your own, allow us to act on your behalf and ensure you bring the best presentation to the court.
Discover if you can get your second chance. Call (701) 237-6983 today.