Expungements

Expungement Lawyer Minneapolis

A criminal charge or a conviction on your record can cause you issues throughout your life. They can make getting a job or finding a place to live difficult. If you are doing something that requires a background check, then a criminal offense on your record is going to be a problem.

Fortunately, Minnesota allows for the expungement of certain offenses from your criminal record. This means that the offense will be removed from public view, but law enforcement will still be able to access the record. Because the public cannot see it, your record will appear as if nothing ever happened.

On January 1, 2015, it will become much easier to expunge or “seal” criminal arrest or conviction records.  Previously, judges in most cases could only seal the court records pertaining to a crime as they had no inherent authority to expunge the records held by the various police departments or the Minnesota BCA.  Since the BCA is the primary source for employer and housing background checks, a person could prove to the court they were entitled to a second chance but the expungement of court records was of little value as the BCA would provide the full criminal history of the rehabilitated individual to anyone making a background request.

The new law eliminates the problem as it now allows the district courts to order the full expungement of all records held by both the courts and the executive branch.  If the case resulted in a conviction, the person seeking the expungement must prove to the district court that their need to have their record sealed outweighs any legitimate concern for the public safety. Under the new law, the following records may be expunged:

1.  If the individual pled guilty, but the sentence resulted in a stay of adjudication or in a diversion, expungement may be granted 1 year after the completion of the sentence;

2.  If the individual received a petty misdemeanor or a misdemeanor sentence, expungement may be granted 2 years after the completion of the sentence;

3.  If the individual received a gross misdemeanor conviction, expungement may be granted 4 years after the completion of the sentence;

4.  If the individual received a non-violent, low-level felony conviction, expungement may be granted 5 years after the completion of the sentence.

Domestic violence convictions are not eligible for expungement until July 1, 2015.  It is required for all of the above categories that the individual applying for expungement has remained crime-free since the completion of their sentence.

In addition, all records of juvenile delinquency may now be expunged and any case that was resolved in the individual’s favor, by either dismissal or acquittal, is statutorily presumed to be eligible for expungement.

If you have been charged with a crime or convicted and the charge or offense is showing up on your criminal record, it is possible to have it removed. With the help of a skilled Minneapolis criminal defense lawyer, you are able to increase your chances of getting the result that you need.

Trusted Legal Advice

There are some serious crimes that are not able to be expunged. These crimes currently include DWI/DUI, sex crimes, aggravated assault, and murder (In 2015, DWI offenses will be eligible for expungement). This means that these offenses will remain on the record indefinitely. However, lesser offenses can be expunged if the circumstances are right. For example, two years have passed before the expungement is requested,  rehabilitation is proven and it is established that you are not a danger to the community. If you can display that the record has caused you hardship and that expungement is the proper resolution, then it is possible for a judge to grant the expungement.

Once the expungement is granted, it takes approximately 60 days for the record to be officially sealed from public view.

A Strong Advocate For You

Because of the sensitive nature of an expungement claim, it is important that you have your Minneapolis & St. Paul criminal defense attorney advocating for you every step of the way. This is not a matter that anyone wants to have to take on by themselves. With F.T. Sessoms as your advocate, you can be sure that your petition is a strong one that allows the judge to issue the expungement you need.

If, however, you are charged with another crime in the future, the sealed record will be available to the court as a part of the review of your criminal history. Expungements simply ensure that non-law enforcement individuals such as landlords, employers, and others performing background checks will be unable to learn of the previous crime.

Contact A Minneapolis Criminal Defense Attorney

When a criminal charge or conviction on your record is causing you issues with finding a job, finding a place to live, or moving forward in your life, you may be able to have it expunged from your record. The moment you experience a difficulty, consulting with an attorney will give you the guidance that you need.

To learn more about your rights and options, contact me, F.T. Sessoms, at 612-344-1505 and request a consultation as I would be happy to discuss your case with you.