Everyone deserves a second chance, but sometimes that second chance can be difficult to come by if you’re still dealing with the fallout of a criminal conviction. How long will a felony or misdemeanor stay on your record, and is there anything you can do to get these convictions off your criminal record? We take a closer look at how long misdemeanors and felonies stay on your criminal record in Minnesota in today’s blog.
How Long Does A Misdemeanor Stay On My Record?
In Minnesota, misdemeanors are classified into one of three different groups – petty misdemeanors, misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors. Regardless of which level of misdemeanor you are charged with in Minnesota, it’s worthwhile to note that they will all stay on your criminal record forever unless you apply for expungment. That’s not to say that the conviction will always lead to enhanced penalties because it will stay on your record unless you apply for expungement. For example, a first offense DUI will stay on your record for life, but it will only act as an aggravating factor if you earn another DUI conviction within 10 years of the initial conviction.
For petty misdemeanors and misdemeanor offenses, you need to wait for two years after your sentence is complete before you can apply for expungement. During this waiting period, you must not be charged with a new crime, otherwise the clock will reset. For gross misdemeanors, the waiting period is four years.
How Long Does A Felony Stay On My Record?
Like misdemeanor crimes, a felony will stay on your record forever unless you are granted an expungement. However, not all felonies are automatically eligible for expungement. Certain violent or sexual crimes can’t be expunged, so those may stay on your record forever.
If your felony conviction is eligible for expungment, you’ll need to have a clean criminal record for five years after your sentence is complete before you are eligible to file for expungment. As we’ve talked about on blogs that focus on the expungement process, there’s no guarantee that you expungement will be granted. You’ll need to convince a judge that the benefits of having your record expunged outweigh the public’s ability to find out about your conviction, and that obviously gets harder to do based on the level of the crime committed. It’s also worth noting that an expungment isn’t a true removal of the crime from your criminal record. The conviction will stay on your criminal record, but it will not be visible to the public or during a background check by prospective employers or landlords.
This may not be the answer you were hoping to find, but if you are interested in applying for expungment, we can help. We’ve helped a number of clients get their criminal record expunged, and we can do the same for you if you’re looking for a fresh start. For more information about expungment or fighting a criminal charge, reach out to Avery and the team at Appelman Law Firm today at (952) 224-2277.