For individuals who have put a past mistake behind them, it can be hard to move forward with their life if they are constantly reminded of their past arrests during background checks and job interviews. There’s certainly merit in agencies being able to view some parts of a person’s criminal history, but a drug possession charge from back in college shouldn’t be affecting your life a decade down the road.
To help people move forward with their life, Minnesota allows some criminal records to be expunged. An expungement is a court-ordered sealing of a person’s criminal record, and they can come in either a full or partial form. With a full expungement, the court and other government agencies like the police or prosecutor’s office would not be able to view the records of the crime. For example, instead of a background check showing that you were arrested in 1998 for marijuana possession, the records of that case would be closed and inaccessible to anyone looking for it. This process allows offenders who meet certain criteria to move forward without being negatively affected from the fallout of a conviction.
But what criteria does a person need to meet in order the petition the court for an expungement? We share seven ways you can file for criminal record expungement in Minnesota in today’s blog.
How To Get An Expungement
If you believe that you meet one or more of these criteria, reach out to the experienced lawyers at Appelman Law Firm to learn about your options.
1. You Won Your Case – If you won the case, the charges were dropped or the case was settled in your favor, you can petition for an expungement. Even if the drug possession charges were dismissed, the fact that it’s on your criminal record could serve to hurt your job prospects in the future, so consider getting your record expunged.
2. Minor Drug Convictions – Many low-level drug charges can be expunged if you complete a drug diversion program in addition to filing for expungement.
3. Youth Crimes But Prosecuted As An Adult – If you were a minor but treated as an adult for the crime, you may be eligible for an expungement depending on the original charge.
4. Completion of Diversion Programs – The court may dismiss the charges in the event you complete a diversion program or probation. If you successfully complete the program requirements, you may then be eligible to file for an expungement.
5. Low-Level Crimes – Many misdemeanors and petty misdemeanors can be expunged if you received probation and have not been convicted of another crime in the past two years.
6. Gross Misdemeanors – A gross misdemeanor is a little more serious of a crime, but these too can be expunged if you completed probation and have not been convicted of a new crime in the past four years.
7. Felonies – The most serious crimes may also be eligible for expungement, but as you may have guessed, only a small percentage qualify. If you were convicted of a low-level felony, you successfully completed probation and have not been convicted of another crime in the past five years, you can talk to a lawyer about petitioning the court for expungement.
If you meet one of more of these thresholds, reach out to Avery Appelman today to learn about how you can get your criminal record sealed. Call us at (952) 224-2277 for more information.