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Expungement Lawyer MN

Helping Individuals Expunge Minneapolis Criminal Records

If a conviction is preventing you from having the quality of life you seek, you may be eligible to have your criminal record expunged. In Minnesota, people who have been convicted of a crime or arrested are able to have their records sealed. This can help them get a job, housing, or qualify for other essential opportunities. Brockton D. Hunter P.A. has taken an active role in assisting people with moving beyond their past mistakes through expungement.

With our experience helping clients seal criminal records, our expungement attorneys in Minnesota can help you. Contact us at (612) 979-1112.

What Is the Expungement Process in MN?

Anyone seeking to have their criminal record sealed must go through a complex process.

The steps involved in seeking an expungement include the following:

  • Gathering all pertinent information: The individual must have copies of their criminal case history and lists of names and addresses they've used since their first arrest. Having complete and accurate information is important, as it must be included on the expungement petition. Any errors may delay the process.
  • Explaining why expungement is sought: The individual must also write down why they want their criminal record cleared. For instance, they might be having trouble getting a job or a place to live because of their criminal history, and an expungement would remove the barriers they're facing. When a judge is determining whether to grant the request, one of the things they'll weigh is the benefits of expungement upon the individual against the risks upon the community.
  • Submitting expungement petition: After the individual has completed all necessary forms, which includes a written statement about why the expungement should be granted and how they've been rehabilitated since their conviction, they must file their forms with the correct court.
  • Attending a hearing: The individual will be scheduled for a hearing. During the proceeding, the judge may ask clarifying questions about the information contained in their petition. In most situations, however, the judge will make a decision based on what was written in the petition.

When deciding, the judge will consider a range of factors, such as:

  • The severity of the offense
  • The risk the individual poses to society
  • The individual's commitment to rehabilitation

If the judge grants the expungement, the individual's record will be cleared of the conviction for which relief was sought.

What Charges Can Be Expunged?

A person can seek to have their criminal record sealed only if they have been convicted of certain qualifying crimes.

Examples of Minnesota offenses that can be expunged include:

  • Theft
  • Fifth-degree controlled substance crime
  • Receiving stolen property
  • Mail theft
  • Issuing a bad check
  • Damage to property
  • Forgery

If a person has been convicted of an offense requiring registration as a predatory offender, they cannot have their criminal record sealed.

Such crimes include:

What's the Waiting Period for Seeking Expungement?

The amount of time a person must wait to get their record expunged in Minnesota depends on the offense they were charged with. Generally, the waiting period begins when the individual completes their sentence, including terms of probation.

A person may file for an expungement as follows:

  • No waiting period: When the case was decided in the petitioner's favor.
  • 1-year waiting period: When the petitioner was granted deferred adjudication, they completed the terms of their diversion program, and they have not been charged with a new crime since finishing their sentence.
  • 2-year waiting period: When the petitioner was convicted of a petty misdemeanor or misdemeanor, and they have not been convicted of a new crime since finishing their sentence.
  • 4-year waiting period: When the petitioner was convicted of a gross misdemeanor and they have not been convicted of a new crime since completing their sentence.
  • 5-year waiting period: When the petitioner was convicted of a felony specified in Minnesota Statute 609A.02, subdivision 3, paragraph (b), and they have not been convicted of a new crime since completing their sentence.

Types of Expungement in Minnesota

Currently, a person has two options for seeking an expungement: statutory or inherent authority expungement. The method an individual pursues to have their record cleared depends on the specifics of their situation.

Statutory expungements are those based on Minnesota's statutes. This means that a written law exists enumerating the grounds for clearing a specific offense.

Statutory expungement focuses on the following types of matters:

  • Certain drug crimes
  • Juvenile crimes prosecuted in adult courts
  • Cases decided in the defendant's favor
  • Cases in which the defendant was placed in a diversion program
  • Cases involving petty misdemeanor, misdemeanor, and gross misdemeanor offenses
  • Cases involving specified felonies

If a person's offense does not qualify for a statutory expungement, they may try to have their record sealed through the inherent authority process. This vehicle provides that the court can decide whether or not someone's record can be cleared. The decision is not based on grounds provided in the expungement statute. Often, such an expungement is granted when the petitioner's constitutional rights were violated or a criminal justice agency abused their discretion. An inherent authority expungement only clears records held by the court.

Call Our Accomplished Minneapolis Firm

At Brockton D. Hunter P.A., we have assisted several people with sealing their criminal records, helping them move on with their lives after a criminal offense. Brock Hunter was a crucial factor in the effort to reform Minnesota expungement law. Along with being a criminal defense attorney, he served as the Legislative Chair for the Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer.

For help seeking a second chance, contact us at (612) 979-1112 to speak with our Minneapolis expungement lawyers.

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