Do I qualify for expungement under the Second Chance Law?

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2023 | Expungement

A criminal record can have lasting implications in your life. Because the record is public, employers, landlords and learning institutions can find it, potentially hindering you from living the life you want.

Minnesota’s Second Chance Law may help you seal your record to prevent it from becoming a hindrance. Here is what you need to know about the law.

What is Minnesota’s Second Chance Law?

In 2015, Minnesota enacted the Second Chance Law, making more nonviolent offenses eligible for expungement. If you qualify for expungement, the law seals all records, making them invisible to those conducting a background check on you. The law also allows you to sue a government entity that illegally opens your expunged record.

Do I qualify for expungement?

Several factors may qualify you for expungement, including:

  • If the court dismissed your case or found you not guilty
  • You did not commit a crime for at least two years after a petty misdemeanor or misdemeanor charge
  • There were no criminal charges for at least four years after a gross misdemeanor charge

You may also be eligible for expungement under the Second Chance Law if your record is for one of 50 nonviolent offenses outlined by the statute and you did not commit another crime for at least five years. Violent crimes typically do not qualify for expungement under Minnesota law.

A criminal record can impact your quality of life and prospects. However, the expungement provisions of the Second Chance Law may allow you to regain more freedom and control of your future.