The Court allows expungement (sealing) of certain records for qualifying criminal offenses. Courts consider whether your criminal record is causing you difficulty in obtaining employment, among other hardships. You may have an old theft or drug offense, but have since rehabilitated yourself. In the interests of public safety and other factors, not all criminal records can be sealed, such as domestic assault. Expungement can be beneficial for employment purposes, however, the Court may only authorize the sealing of its own court records, and not agency records, such as those kept by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension or the police.
If the conviction is a misdemeanor, a person may petition for expungement two (2) years of having a clean record after he or she is discharged from probation. This means that if a person has a one year probation period, the earlies the person can seek to seal his or her records is three years after the date of conviction (one year probation + two year clean record period). Any misdemeanor is currently eligible for expungement under the new law.
Sealing the record of felony, is more limited. A court can order an expungement only if the felony is one of the fifty (50) enumerated in Minn. Stat. 609A.02, subd. 3 (5)(2016). Even then, if the felony is one of the fifty eligible offenses, a person must have a clean criminal record for five (5) years after probation discharges the person. This can mean for some that a person must have a clean record for ten years before seeking an expungement. It is important to understand that statutes that convert a felony conviction to a misdemeanor does not make the conviction a misdemeanor for expungement purposes. Thus, a felony theft conviction resolved through a stay of imposition that became a misdemeanor at the end of probation is still a felony for expungement purposes. The crime must be one of the fifty identified in the statute, and the person has to wait the mandatory clean record period.
Wilson Law Group is able to help you move forward, and seal the mistakes of the past from haunting you today. Please contact Wilson Law Group to schedule a consultation to learn how we are ready to help you.