Throndset Michenfelder Law Office LLC
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6 things to know about expungements in Minnesota

A criminal mark on your record can have a considerable impact on your life. Minnesota has a Second Chance program that enables some people who have criminal marks to seek expungement. An expungement can help you to feel a little better if you have a job opportunity or housing option that requires a criminal background check. 

#1: Criminal court records, even for non-convictions, might be expunged


Expungements aren’t only for criminal convictions. You can also apply to have a criminal charge that resulted in a dismissal or not guilty finding taken off your record. These records can have an impact on some jobs, especially if they have a specific impact on the duties you are going to perform if the company hires you.

#2: Expunged records are sealed


The court seals records that it approves for expungement. The court doesn’t erase criminal records that it approves for expungement. There is a huge difference between sealing and erasing a record. A sealed record might still be visible to some entities.


#3: Expunged records are visible in some instances


Law enforcement agencies and courts can view records that the court approved for expungement. There are certain conditions that must occur in order for this to happen. One instance is when a person is facing another criminal charge that is similar to the record that went through a successful expungement petition. Some jobs, such as those with the Department of Education, also lead to expunged records becoming visible.


#4: Time limits are in place


There are time limits in place for people seeking expungements. You can only seek expungement if you have already go through your entire sentence successfully. The petition must wait at least 63 days prior to going before the court once you file it. If a judge grants the petition, it takes at least 60 days before the record is sealed.


#5: Conditions might apply


Conditions might apply for an expungement petition. The judge carefully considers each petition before making a decision. Most felony convictions are eligible for expungement petitions, and some misdemeanors also qualify. Petty misdemeanors don’t fall under the classification of a crime so they aren’t eligible.


#6: The process is intense


The process of expungement is intense. You have to show the court that you fall under the Second Chance program. You also have to deal with various points that might come up in the process. Typically, you should seek legal assistance if you plan to launch an expungement petition.

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