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What is Criminal Expungement Law? 529

We all have done things we wish we could just make everyone forget. Expungement law is kind of like that, but in a legal sense. Expungements help in obtaining employment and housing among other things. A good expungement lawyer in Minnesota can work to have your past legal issues expunged.

What is Expungement?

For the most part, there are three types of expungement.

  1. Complete Expungement – An example of this would be where the fingerprints, etc. and records are all destroyed. This is usually where there was no probable cause to support the charge.
  2. Sealing Judicial and Executive Branch Records – In this situation, the records are sealed and employers, for example, cannot find them. This is typically where the case was resolved in a defendant’s favor with no plea or conviction.
  3. Expungement Following a Conviction – Now, even when a case resulted in a criminal conviction, a person may still obtain an expungement of both judicial and executive branch records.

Please note that an expungement can seal the criminal records from showing up on criminal background checks, however, government officials such as immigration authorities and police usually can still get access to sealed criminal records in the instance of a just cause.

Good News For Expungement Law!

There is a relatively new “Second Chance” law. As of January 1, 2015, petitioners can now get both judicial and executive branch records expunged even if they were convicted of an offense.

It used to be that if there was a conviction in their case, people were barred from obtaining an expungement. Under the new statutes, however, a person with a conviction may obtain an expungement. This includes following convictions for…

  • petty misdemeanors
  • misdemeanors
  • gross misdemeanors
  • and a specific list of felonies

The Waiting Period – You Must Be Law-Abiding
The new law has waiting periods for when a person can seek to take advantage of the law, depending on the severity of the offense. These waiting periods generally range from one to years. Importantly, you cannot be convicted of anything during the waiting period. In addition, to be eligible after discharge from probation, you need to remain law abiding. Again, that means you cannot get another criminal conviction.

How Do You Get an Expungement?

The Minnesota District Court Records Access website is a good place to check to find out which cases you need to expunge. Note that if you have a conviction in more than one county, you are required to file your request in each county in which you have a conviction you wish to have expunged. Once you have a list of the cases you want expunged, a petition for an expungement is required for each separate offense. A separate filing fee is also charged for each case where there was a conviction.

We highly recommend hiring a criminal defense lawyer to help you to get the expungements you need. The legal system can be difficult to navigate. Ms. Torgerson has obtained expungements of judicial and executive records for a large variety of cases, including misdemeanors and felonies for adult and juvenile cases throughout the State of Minnesota.

Call Lynne Torgerson, Esq., an expungement lawyer of excellence, for representation on your expungement case: (612) 339-5073

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