The Minnesota Legislature passed a new law, which will make criminal expungements a useful tool and meaningful remedy for many Minnesotans starting on January 1, 2015 (except Domestic Assaults, which are delayed until July 15, 2015). The new law, which can be found here,has clarified the time that must pass before a past conviction or guilty plea can be expunged off your criminal record. Specifically, the law grants clear power to judges to consider expungements of petty misdemeanors and misdemeanors once 2 years have elapsed from the discharge of probation, 4 years for gross misdemeanors, and 5 years for certain felonies.
To get a judge to consider expunging your criminal record you need to submit a petition to the court requesting expungement and, depending on the circumstances of your case, you might need to make an oral argument to the court that an expungement would yield a benefit to you that is commensurate with the disadvantages to the public and public safety. There are certain factors that a judge will consider when conducting this balancing test.
Along with the petition to the court, you must notify every agency that may possess a record of your record. The notice is mandatory and an important step in the expungement process. Failure to notify the proper parties will complicate the paperwork involved and significantly delay your opportunity to receive an expungement. After receiving the notice, the agencies you notified will have 60 days to object to an expungement of your records. Sometime beyond that 60-day period you will have a hearing in front of a judge and those agencies have an opportunity to explain their opposition to the expungement. Some cases are contested by these agencies, while others are not; it depends on the strength of your petition and the factors in your case.
At Barragry Law LLC, we are experienced in handling expungements of all types from misdemeanors to felonies. We are willing to walk you through the complicated expungement process, draft your petition and argue your case in court. Contact our office today for a free consultation on whether an expungement may be available for you and how to get started!