Did you know that various crimes can be expunged, meaning a judge can seal your court records so the public cannot see them? Criminal expungement is crucial for those convicted of a crime in the past and who need their record expunged to find a job or seek a professional license. When a judge seals your court record, it will no longer be available to the public. Only public officials, such as police or immigration officers, will have access to your court file. There is an extensive list of crimes that can be expunged in Minnesota, including some that may surprise you. The seven detailed below include:
- Sale of a simulated drug
- Bringing stolen goods into the state
- Leaving Minnesota to avoid the establishment of paternity
- Furnishing a firearm to a minor
- Juvenile prosecuted as an adult
What Is Criminal Expungement?
Criminal expungement involves attending court to ask a judge to seal records from a criminal court case (MN Stat § 609A.01). Expunged records are not destroyed; but instead, they are hidden from public access. Public officials may still access sealed records from criminal court cases when needed for specific purposes. This means that the police, FBI, immigration, and other law enforcement agencies can still see your court records. Many people ask for criminal expungement after being denied housing, a job, or a professional license due to their criminal background.
It’s essential to remember that not all crimes can be expunged. In Minnesota, there is a long list of crimes that qualify for expungement (MN Stat § 609A.02). Once it’s determined whether the jurisdiction allows for expungement, the next step is to identify whether the arrest or conviction is eligible. Each state has specific guidelines regarding the time passed since the occurrence.
Partial vs. Full Expungement
Depending on the case, you could be granted either a partial or full expungement. What type of expungement you are given will determine if your court records are sealed from the public and other government agencies. Various factors will be considered, including how much time has passed since you were discharged from probation.
If your case meets the guidelines under the law, the court has the authority to seal court records and those held by government agencies. This means that court records are sealed along with those held by the police, prosecutor’s office, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), and other government agencies.
If your case does not meet the specifications for a full expungement, you may be granted a partial expungement. The judge can still order the court records to be sealed, which means the public will not have access to these files. Records held by other government agencies will remain to be public information. Down the road, your court records could still come up during certain background checks with just a partial expungement.
7 Surprising Crimes That Can Be Expunged
The crimes eligible for expungement include low-level felonies, gross misdemeanors, and misdemeanors. You may find some of the crimes that can be expunged surprising, but if they’re listed in the Minnesota Statutes (MN Stat § 609A.02), then there is a chance of the court approving an expungement. Listed below are seven crimes that can be expunged in Minnesota.
Sale of a Fake Drug
Certain controlled substance offenses can be expunged, such as selling a simulated or fake drug. You may petition under section 609A.03 for the sealing of all records relating to this type of crime. (MN Stat § 609A.02(1))
If you’ve been charged for bringing stolen goods into the state, you may be eligible for an expungement. (MN Stat § 609.525)
Leaving Minnesota to avoid the establishment of paternity is a crime. If you have been charged or convicted of avoiding paternity, you can ask for expungement so that court records are sealed from the public. (MN Stat § 609.31)
Furnishing a Firearm to Minor
Transferring a pistol to a minor (MN Stat § 624.7132(15)) is a severe crime in Minnesota. However, in some instances, your records can be expunged for this type of crime.
Juvenile Prosecuted as an Adult
When a juvenile is prosecuted as an adult, the court records can be expunged later (MN Stat § 609A.03). A petition for sealing a conviction record can be filed once a person is discharged by the commission or placed on probation by the court then released after fulfillment. If you have a child that has been charged with a crime, it might be time to look into expungement.
Factors Affecting Expungement
Expungement is not a guaranteed deal in all cases, unfortunately. Even if your case meets one of the requirements, other factors will affect the judge’s decision. The whole expungement process can take anywhere from four to five months, but it will vary by state. Once your forms are all completed, a judge will decide if expungement is appropriate than the public having access to your criminal record. The judge who is reviewing your case for expungement will consider the following factors:
- Crime severity
- Outstanding restitution
- Overall reasoning
- Risk to society
- Time passed since the crime
- Progress toward rehabilitation
- Criminal record
- Employment record
- Community involvement
Contact an Experienced Minneapolis Expungement Lawyer Today
If you have a criminal charge on your record that you’d like expunged, you will need a reliable expungement lawyer on your side. Lauren Campoli knows how complex the expungement process can be, as well as the importance of removing a conviction from public view. Life after conviction can be challenging for many different reasons. At the Law Office of Lauren Campoli, we know how criminal charges can affect your future, which is why we are invested in helping you through every step of the Minnesota expungement process. If you’re ready to clear your name and see how Lauren Campoli can help you, call the Law Office of Lauren Campoli at (612)-810-0060 or complete our online form now to discuss the next steps.