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A criminal charge on your record stays with you for many years and can make it difficult to secure a job or find housing. However, there’s hope for many people through Minnesota’s expungement process. Expungement is the official sealing of a past criminal record. It’s important to understand that your record isn’t destroyed; it’s sealed so employers, landlords, and other entities can’t find it. It can, however, be unsealed in the event of a future prosecution or if you apply to work in law enforcement. Regardless, it’s a helpful process for many people struggling to overcome a criminal past.
Recent Minnesota laws changed the way expungements were handled for the better. Previously, low-level, non-violent felonies couldn’t be expunged, making it impossible to get drug crimes and other felonies off your record. Furthermore, the expungement process also made it impossible to expunge records held by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). This meant that when you did have a record expunged, it could still be found by employers and landlords through the BCA. The new expungement law in Minnesota was enacted in January of 2015, granting full expungement of court and BCA records and allowing for some felonies to be expunged.
You’re eligible for expungement based on the following regulations:
The new Minnesota law gave people with past criminal charges more hope for their future. If you’ve worked hard to turn your life around, it’s only fair that you should be able to seal your past charges away from inquiries.
In one case, a 29 year old mother with a business degree kept getting turned down for jobs. She had served prison time nearly ten years prior for two drug-related felonies. After going through rehab, attending business school, and becoming a mother, she still was haunted by her criminal background.
Every time she would interview for a job, the interviewer would remark on her skills and excellent resume. Yet every time she got a job offer, it was later rescinded after the background check. For years, she was unable to get her records expunged. Minnesota’s new laws allowed her to finally seal the records that followed her for more than 10 years. She now looks forward to a career in marketing.
It’s important to understand that not all cases are eligible for expungement. Any type of violent felony, such as murder or sex crimes, can’t be expunged. But if you made a mistake when you were younger, or even recently, there may be hope for you. The Knutson+Casey Law Firm in Mankato, Minnesota, is experienced in a variety of criminal defense practices. We work closely with you to help you get your records expunged and start your new life.
If you want to wipe your slate clean and head towards a better future, getting your criminal records expunged is the first step. Though an expungement can never be guaranteed, we can promise to work hard and quickly. Contact us today to see how we can help.