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Expungements

An expungement allows you to seal a criminal record and prevent other people (such as potential employers) from finding out about it or using it against you. Expungements must be handled according to Minnesota law, and you need to ensure that the proper petition is filed, the proper parties are notices, and that the relief you are seeking is properly requested.

The following is some general information regarding expungements. However, because the law is complex and changes periodically, please contact an attorney before taking any actions regarding an expungement.

How do you file for an expungement?

There are two types of expungements in Minnesota: 1) Statutory and 2) Inherent Authority. The type of expungement dictates the burden required to seal your record and whether executive agencies’ records will be affected. However, both types typically start with a petition. The petition tells the court about the original criminal matter and also what steps you have made to rehabilitate yourself since the offense. After the petition, a hearing is set to have the matter heard before a judge. At the hearing, the judge will listen to arguments from the person seeking the expungement and any agencies that oppose the expungements. After the hearing, the judge will decide whether or not to grant the expungement.

Will all of my records be sealed?

Whether all of your records are sealed depends on the type of expungement you are eligible for. Generally, a statutory expungement will seal both judicial records and state agency records (such as police or corrections records). An inherent authority expungement will typically seal only the judicial records but leave the state agency records unsealed.

What information do I need for an expungement?

The information required depends on the case. However, details about the criminal charge or conviction along with any positive efforts since the conviction are helpful. So, information regarding any education, volunteer, or employment opportunities since the criminal matter is often included in the petition. In addition, information about how the criminal record has hurt you is also often helpful.

If you have questions about whether you are eligible to file for an expungement or how to start the process, call Eric Rice for a free consultation to learn about your options at (651) 998-9660.

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