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Reviewing Minnesota’s expungement criteria

On Behalf of | Oct 2, 2020 | Criminal Defense

Those convicted of a crime in Minnesota often fear what the long-term repercussions of their convictions may be (no matter the crime they stand accused of committing). Their fears are often justified; having a criminal record can negatively impact one’s future ability to get a job and qualify for housing, not to mention the general stigma many may in the public may assign to them.

Yet should any criminal interaction merit consequences. Per the Restoration of Rights Project, Minnesota state law makes it unlawful for any prospective employer or state licensing agency to discriminate against one due to an arrest that did not result in a conviction, or any misdemeanor offenses for which there were no criminal penalties imposed. The same is true following the expungement of one’s criminal record. This prompts the question of how can one have their criminal record expunged.

Qualifying for an expungement in Minnesota

Section 609A.02 of Minnesota’s state statutes says that in order to qualify for expungement, one must first meet one of the following criteria:

  • Have the ruling in their criminal case issued in their favor
  • Wait one year following the completion of a diversion program or a stay of adjudication
  • Go two years without an arrest following a conviction for a petty misdemeanor (four years for a conviction of a gross misdemeanor)
  • Go five years without an arrest following a conviction for certain felonies

One can find a list of the felonies eligible for expungement through the state’s Office of the Revisor of Statutes.

Other expungement scenarios

In addition, state law allows for offenses for possession of a controlled substance and criminal convictions one incurred as a minor to qualify for expungement.

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