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A criminal record can make it difficult to find employment and housing in Minnesota. Thankfully, the state provides a process for limiting access to criminal history. Known as expungement, this option involves the sealing of specific court records.

As local courts emphasize, expunged records are not destroyed. Police officers and other public officials retain access after records have been expunged. However, expungement remains a valuable option for Minnesota residents in search of a fresh start.

Who Is Eligible For Expungement In Minnesota?

Minnesotans convicted of misdemeanors and some low-level felonies can petition courts for expungement after serving their sentence. Depending on the nature of the crime, however, the petitioner may be forced to wait between two and five years before obtaining an expungement. In select cases, prosecutors may approve sealed criminal records without the need for a petition.

Filing Petitions For Expungement: What Does the Process Involve?

Most petitions for expungement come accompanied by filing fees, although these may be waived in select cases. Additionally, each petition must include the following:

  • The petitioner’s full name and date of birth.
  • Any addresses the petitioner has held since the date of the alleged offense.
  • The details of the offense, including the jurisdiction in which it occurred and any victims that may have been impacted.
  • The reason for the petition. Examples could include efforts to secure employment or licensure.
  • Compelling reasons why the court should grant an expungement.

Petitions should be served by mail and signed under oath. A hearing will be scheduled within sixty days of the petition being served. If the expungement is approved, a court administrator will send copies of the order to any affected agencies or jurisdictions.

Don’t let your criminal history dictate your future. Once your records are expunged, you can make a fresh start. The team at the law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. can help — contact us today to learn how.