Criminal expungement is a court-ordered process where the legal record of an arrest or conviction is “sealed”. Sealing the record means that the public can no longer view it. Some crimes are eligible to be expunged when certain conditions are met, but not all crimes are able to be sealed. It should be noted that an expunged record is not destroyed or erased. In certain cases, public officials have the ability to see sealed records.
Even if your case meets the requirements, expungement is not guaranteed. A petition must be filed and the petitioner typically needs to pay a filing fee to the court. From there, a Judge will determine if the benefit of receiving an expungement is greater than the disadvantage it would be for the public to not have access to your criminal record. Expungement is a lengthy process that can take several months.
Not all crimes are eligible to be expunged. Examples of crimes that are not eligible for criminal expungement are:
Furthermore, any crime that requires registration on the state’s sex offender list is prohibited from being expunged in the state of Minnesota. This includes:
Minnesota Statute 609A.02, subd. 3(b) lists fifty felonies that are eligible for expungement when certain requirements are met. If your crime was a felony that is not listed in the statute, you likely do not qualify for a criminal expungement. However, your criminal record is not something to be taken lightly, and the expungement process is a complicated process. It is best to get an experienced lawyer on your side to navigate the legalities and forms that are required.