Having a DWI on your record can be embarrassing and can cause problems for your personal or professional life, which is why one of the most common questions we receive in regards to DWI convictions is whether or not they can be expunged from your record. An expungement is the process of having a criminal conviction removed from a person’s record, but it doesn’t eliminate the fact that you were convicted of the crime.
But can you get your DWI conviction expunged from your record in Minnesota? We answer that question and more in today’s blog.
Getting A DWI Expunged
The process of getting your DWI expunged can be a little complex, which is why we always recommend that you seek out an attorney to assist with the process. Because while there are a number of different forms that need to be filed out correctly and timely, there’s more to it than just putting pen to paper.
For example, in order for an expungment to be granted in Minnesota, you must prove to the court that an expungement would produce a benefit that is at least equal to the general public’s interest in keeping the conviction on record. This is why it’s so important to really plan out your legal strategy ahead of time. Simply filing out the paperwork and saying you’re embarrassed of the charge is a quick way to have your petition denied. Instead, you really need to put forth a strong showing that the conviction is detrimental to certain aspects of your life, and that having it removed would outweigh society’s ability to see this conviction.
But what angles should you consider when building your case to have your record expunged? Some of the factors that may help the court rule in your favor include but are not limited to:
- The risk you pose to society
- Your risk of reoffending
- Length of time since the crime has occurred
- Steps taken by petitioner towards rehabilitation
- Problems faced by the petitioner directly resulting from the conviction (housing, schooling, employment, etc.)
- The totality of the petitioner’s criminal record
- Recommendations of law enforcement or the prosecutorial team
- Recommendations of the victims
- Your behavior since the incident, including your ability to follow probation, pay off fines, and complete driver’s education courses in a timely manner
Again, it’s not just about walking in and saying “Hey judge, it’s been eight years since my DWI, I haven’t got another one since, and I did my required community service, can I get the charge expunged?” You really need to explain why these factors are relevant, not just that they exist. For example, you might argue that the conviction has made it hard to get an apartment, but your lawyer might look at the totality of the situation and argue that your inability to get an apartment near your child’s school or within walking distance of work has really affected your ability to get your children to school on time or your ability to pick up extra shifts at work because you can’t always reliability get there on time. It’s not enough that these factors exist, it’s how they affect you and those that rely on you.
At the end of the day, having a lawyer by your side can really make or break this process. Avery and the team at Appelman Law Firm have helped countless individuals get their DWI conviction expunged, and we can do the same for you. For more information, or to set up a free case review, give us a call at (952) 224-2277.