A criminal record may affect your reputation and your prospects for housing, employment and education. Fortunately, in many cases, certain laws allow you to seal your record. This has been made even easier after statutes were amended to make expungements and sealing more available to criminal defendants.
A qualified St. Louis Park expungement lawyer knows how to handle the complicated process of sealing your record. Many convicted people fail to seal their record simply because they do not follow the technical requirements, but a diligent criminal defense attorney could help make sure that all of the prerequisites are met.
Expungement Laws and Requirements
Minnesota Statutes Chapter 609A contains five sections that define and outline the procedures for getting an expungement of a person’s criminal case. Expungement differs in two primary categories.
Cases Resolved in the Petitioner’s Favor
The petitioner is the person seeking the expungement. If their case was resolved in their favor, their case is presumed to be entitled to an expungement. Such situations include:
- A jury acquittal
- Dismissal of the charges by a judge
- Dismissal of the charges by the prosecutor
- Exoneration following a conviction
- Continues for dismissal and subsequent dismissal of the charges
Those who were not convicted or whose wrongful conviction was overturned are presumed to be allowed to seal their record.
Cases Resolved Not in the Petitioner’s Favor
These are cases where a person is ultimately convicted of the offense. Whether this conviction comes from a guilty finding by a jury or through a plea, the person may be entitled to an expungement if they fall within the following categories:
- Once the person has completed the terms of a diversion program or stay of adjudication for their crime, and they were not charged with a new crime within a one-year period
- If the person was convicted of a stayed sentence for a gross misdemeanor and were not charged with a new offense for at least four years after final discharge
- If a person was convicted of a stayed sentence for a petty misdemeanor or misdemeanor, and were not convicted of a new offense within two years of final discharge
- If a person was convicted of a stayed sentence for certain felonies and was not convicted of a new offense within five years of final discharge
These situations are often difficult to understand for anyone other than an experienced expungement attorney who serves St. Louis Park. Anyone seeking to determine their eligibility should seek their advice.
Requesting Expungement in St. Louis Park
A person must file their petition for expungement and a proposed order in the district court. It must also be served to all agencies and offices with the records that a person wants expunged.
The actual petition process often requires a judge to make findings about whether the petition should be granted. It is critical to follow all of the technical requirements of filing the petition or the request will likely be denied.
Consult a St. Louis Park Expungement Attorney
You should not just assume your criminal record is there to stay. You may be entitled to wipe your record clean depending on your charges and circumstances. This may alleviate many of the burdens of a criminal record.
Contact an experienced St. Louis Park expungement lawyer right away for the assistance you deserve. Our office is here to help.