What is expungement and when is it available under Minnesota law?

St. Paul, MN criminal defense attorney Robert Ambrose talks about expungement.

Contact Robert Ambrose

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (612) 547-3199

Transcript:

So the relatively new expungement law has been widely acclaimed as a second-chance law. It’s supposed to give people more of an opportunity to get their criminal records cleared because of they’re trying to get a job and this offense is showing up on their background, or they’re trying to get housing and they’re being denied that housing because of something that’s showing up on their background. 

Under Minnesota’s new expungement law, it’s allowing more offenses to be expunged. And misdemeanor cases, by law, you can be eligible to get those expunged if you’re two years crime free after being discharged on probation. On gross misdemeanor offenses, it’s four years after you’re done with probation. You can get – be eligible for expungement. 

Currently, there are 50 felonies where you’re eligible to get expunged if you’re five years beyond probation with no new offenses. That’s what they call a statutory expungement or by law you can get those expunged. 

There’s also what they call “In the interest of justice” expungement. That means statutorily, my expungements or my case should not be expunged, but just the court in the interest of justice, based on certain factors, should still clear my criminal record. So there is another avenue under the interest of justice, if one is not available for you statutorily, to try to get some mistake in your past cleared off your record so you can move forward with your life.