Criminal expungement is the process of going to court and asking a judge to seal court criminal records. People ask for an expungement when they have been denied a job, housing, or professional license because of their criminal background. Minnesota Statutes § 609A.02 lists specific situations when a court has the authority to seal government-held records.
This list includes:
- Some first time drug possession offenses;
- Offences committed by juveniles who are prosecuted in adult criminal court;
- Cases that were resolved in your favor where you were found not guilty or where the case was dismissed;
- Petty misdemeanors, misdemeanors, and some gross misdemeanors; or
- Some felonies may qualify for expungement.
Expungement of a past criminal conviction depends on several factors, including the circumstances underlying the crime, the number of criminal convictions, the length of time between conviction and the petition for expungement, the reason for expungement, and past criminal history.