Help Getting Your Record Expunged in Minnesota

A criminal record can have a serious impact on your future. Future employers may perform a background check prior to hiring you and find your record. Colleges, universities and landlords may perform a similar search. Even if you were found "not guilty" or your case was dismissed, the record of your case can still be found.

In some cases, you may be able to get your record expunged so that your criminal record does not come back to haunt you. An expungement does not mean that your record is wiped clean, but instead, it is sealed.

In one survey, nearly a quarter of employers said they would not hire someone with a nonviolent conviction on his or her record. Protect your future by taking steps today to seal your criminal record. Our skilled attorneys can help you through the process of obtaining an expungement and help you protect your privacy. For a free initial consultation, call today at 612-424-5829 or toll free at 888-721-1056.

Minnesota's New Second Chance Law

In January 2015, Minnesota's new Second Chance Law went into effect, significantly improving how expungement works in Minnesota. It gives more individuals a second change by increasing the number of crimes eligible for expungement. But it does more than that — it finally makes expungement a real remedy.

Previously, individuals were not able to seal their Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) or executive branch records. Because many employers and housing agencies request background checks from the BCA, sealing a criminal record wasn't a full remedy — people who had formally sealed their records continued to face discrimination when applying for jobs or attempting to rent an apartment. The Second Chance Law seals all records, including police, judicial, probation, county attorney, DHS and BCA records.

Finally, it gives individuals the ability to bring a civil lawsuit against any government agency that opens an expunged record unlawfully.

Qualifying for Expungement Under the Second Chance Law

Under the Second Chance law, you can request an expungement if:

  • You successfully completed a diversion program or you received a stay of adjudication and at least one year has passed without another criminal charge.
  • Your case was dismissed or you were found not guilty.
  • You were convicted of a petty misdemeanor or misdemeanor, and at least two years have passed without another criminal conviction.
  • You were convicted of a gross misdemeanor, and at least four years have passed without another criminal conviction.
  • You were convicted of a low-level felony offense, and at least five years have passed without another criminal conviction. (The law lists 50 nonviolent offenses that can be expunged.)

The rules are different for individuals convicted of domestic violence. Furthermore, violent crimes, such as murder or sexual assault, do not qualify for expungement unless you receive a stay of adjudication. In all cases, the court will consider 12 factors to determine whether a criminal record should be expunged. These include your criminal record, the severity of the crime, the risk to society and your reasons for requesting the expungement.

Our attorneys can help you determine if you are eligible for expungement and the records that you can expect to get sealed. We will guide you through the legal process to ensure that your rights and your reputation are protected into the future.

Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Minneapolis

Contact Groshek Law online or call 888-721-1056 or 612-424-5829 for a free initial consultation with an experienced attorney.