Minnesota's revised expungement law, which took effect January 1, 2015, is intended to give individuals -- who have been rejected from employment, licensure, education, and countless other of life opportunities – an opportunity for a second chance.
The revised expungement law allows for the sealing of certain drug charges, juveniles who were prosecuted as adults, and criminal proceedings not resulting in convictions or guilty pleas (i.e., dismissals and acquittals). The new law will allow courts to seal records of those who have successfully completed diversion programs, as well as those who were convicted of petty misdemeanors, misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors, and certain low-level non-violent felonies.
This expansion of the statutory remedy grants courts the authority to seal records held by executive branch agencies, such as the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (the primary source of criminal information for employment, professional licensure, and housing background checks), the Department of Human Services, and the police.
Under the new law, persons will be eligible for a “full expungement” (sealing of both judicial and executive branch records) in the following situations:
However, if a prosecutor agrees to the sealing of a criminal record, the court must (“shall”) expunge the record in eligible cases without requiring a petition unless it determines the interests of the public and public safety outweigh the record bearer’s interests.
If you are being held back from employment, housing, licensure or other opportunities because of a criminal record, contact our office today. We have extensive experience securing expungements for our clients which allow them a new lease and a second chance on life. Contact us today to find out if you can have your record sealed and how we can help with that process.