Anyone struggling to get back on their feet after serving a sentence for any sort of crime knows how difficult it is to get a job and housing. Thousands of former offenders in Minnesota have faced the same scenario: they complete their sentence and are anxious to start a new life, only to be confronted by barricade after barricade to employment and housing.
Up until now, records retained by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) could not be expunged; this was also true for records held by executive branch agencies. This meant that even though an ex-offender may have proven to the court that they had turned over a new leaf, their convictions would still be seen by anyone using BCA records to conduct a background search.
But now things are looking better – Minnesota’s new expungement law is giving former offenders of certain types of crimes a second chance to create a full life for themselves. Under this new law, both court records and executive branch records can receive full expungement. Included in the new expungement law are:
- Juvenile delinquency records
- Cases resulting in acquittal or dismissal
- Low-level, non-violent convictions if a person commits no crime for 5 years
- Gross misdemeanor convictions if a person commits no crime for 4 years
- Misdemeanor or petty misdemeanor convictions if a person commits no crime for 2 years
- Diversion or stay of adjudication if a person commits no crime for 1 year
There are other important points to the new law as well. A list of felonies eligible for executive branch expungement can be seen here, as provided by the Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statues.
Eligibility for expungement, however, doesn’t guarantee expungement – you need experienced legal representation to present your case to the court. To find out if your records are eligible for expungement under the new law and get the legal representation you deserve, contact us.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please contact attorney Kirk Anderson for an initial consultation.