Expungement Law

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Minnesota Expungement Law

 
The beginning of 2015 saw a dramatic change to Minnesota’s expungement law. Now, an expungement is available to those that need it and it is a meaningful remedy. A expungement will now seal both court records and those held by different government agencies – most notably, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehensions (“BCA”). The result is that criminal background checks performed by employers or landlords should not reveal expunged records.

What is an Expungement?

An expungement is a court-ordered sealing of a criminal record held by various government agencies, including but not limited to, the district court, BCA, and Dept. of Human Services. An expungement will not result in the destruction or return the criminal record.

The primary benefit of an expungement is that the sealed criminal record should not be seen during a criminal background check. In some cases, the petitioner may even be able to say that they were not convicted of a criminal offense.

This can make a significant difference when a petitioner is job hunting or searching for housing. Some stats can better put into perspective just how important an expungement can be:

  • 1 in 4 Minnesotans have some form of a criminal record
  • 87% of employers perform background checks on job applicants
  • 26% of employers would not extend an offer to an otherwise qualified candidate because of a non-violent misdemeanor conviction.

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