Expungement of Drug Charges in Minnesota
One of the grounds for a statutory expungement is for certain drug charges. Pursuant to Minn. Stat. 609A.02, subd. 1, a person may seek an expungement of a drug charges in which the person received a statutory stay of adjudication for 4th or 5th degree drug possession cases. That statutory stay of adjudication is often referred to as a 152.18 resolution, named after the statute that authorizes this outcome.
In this situation, a statutory stay of adjudication means the drug charge is dismissed upon the successful completion of the probationary period. At that time, the individual is discharged from probation. When this occurs, the person is eligible for an expungement and, if granted, the Court may order that the person be returned to the position they held prior to the arrest – meaning they wouldn’t have to admit to this having ever occurred. This is the ultimate expungement result.
But, what happens when a person receives this statutory stay of adjudication, but is also convicted – in the same criminal case – of a separate crime, say a DWI? Recently, the Court of Appeals clarified this issue when it held that the expungement court can essentially split the baby. The court is permitted to grant a full expungement of the drug charge, while leaving in place the other conviction – even though they are in the same criminal case. A recent Hennepin County order further confirmed this holding when it permitted a petitioner to seek an expungement of the drug charge, but couldn’t touch the other conviction in the case.
What does this mean for you? If you have completed a statutory stay of adjudication for a drug charge, you are eligible for an expungement, regardless of whether or not you were also convicted of another crime at the same time. Given how much drug records can impact persons when seeking employment or housing, it is highly recommended that you should seek an expungement of this record, even if the other conviction cannot be expunged. Getting the drug charge off your record is a meaningful remedy.
Contact an experienced and successful Minnesota expungement attorney that knows the law, the case law updates, and how to best pursue an expungement of drug charges.