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How do expungements work?

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What is an expungement in Minnesota?

Today, in Minnesota, there are three (3) different types of expungements.  They are statutory, inherent authority, and return or destruction of the records. 

The first, the most common, is statutory expungement under Chapter 609A of the Minnesota Statutes.  Under statutory expungement, all records, judicial and executive branch, are expunged.  Expungement under statutory expungement means the records are sealed.  Under statutory expungement, you may get records expunged even if you had a conviction.  You may get a petty misdemeanor, misdemeanor, and gross misdemeanor conviction expunged.  As for felonies, the statute has a specific list of which felonies are eligible for statutory expungement.  Generally, the felonies included are usually some sort of property offense.  It also includes 5th degree felony possession of a controlled substance.

A second type of expungement is inherent authority expungement.  Under inherent authority expungement, only the judicial records are expunged.  The executive branch records, such a those in the possession of a police department, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Minnesota Attorney General, City Attorney, and County Attorney, are not expunged.  So, inherent authority expungement is somewhat like half of an expungement.  Historically, under an inherent authority expungement, all records were expunged.  After about 40 years of doing inherent authority expungements, the Minnesota Supreme Court declared that it did not have the authority to do them.  After that, inherent authority expungement essentially was reduced to half of an expungement.  An inherent authority expungement does not have much value as a result.

Under section 299C.11 of the Minnesota Statutes, an expungement will result in the return or destruction of records.  There are specific parameters to be eligible for a 299C.11 expungement.  Essentially, if the case was never charged out, or, was dismissed at a contested probably cause hearing, then a person is eligible for a 299C.11 expungement.  These are relatively rare, and, the records are returned or destroyed.

Minnesota Expungement Lawyer Lynne Torgerson, an attorney of excellence and success, can represent you in your expungement proceeding, and has the expertise to determine which type of expungement you should pursue.  For representation, call today at (612) 339-5073!    

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