Expungement Guide

Minnesota Expungement

What can be erased depends on the state jurisdiction. Expungement makes files unavailable to the common public and any law enforcement agencies. Only certain government officials will have access to the records under particular circumstances. In Minnesota arrests that were made and later dismissed because of probable cause or where the prosecutor refuses to file charges and jury does not returned an indictment have the opportunity to have records expunged. These include fingerprints, any particulars surrounding the case, photographs, and establishing data and can be returned to an individual upon request.

However there are conditions that follow. A person cannot have a felony or gross misdemeanor charge within the past ten years to qualify for the expungement of certain files.

If individuals do not meet the state designated requirements, they will have the option of court sealing instead. Record sealing declines the access to records and other information unless otherwise ordered by the court or the authority of a statute, according to Minnesota Law 609A.01.

Expungeable Records
Like most other states, juvenile records are treated differently in Minnesota than are adult records. In most cases juvenile records can be fully erased when an individual arrives at the age of seventeen or eighteen. In Minnesota a juvenile delinquency adjudication can be considered for expungement if the case does not involve a removal to a correctional facility. Those who have adjudications of minors petty offenders can have their records expunged also. Juveniles who have been prosecuted as adults but were released from fulfillment probation terms or where released from correctional facilities are eligible.

First-time adult drug offenders with deferred sentences or those who have certain drug possession charges may also qualify for records sealing. Those who have had determination of all their court proceedings and actions in their favor may petition for expungement if there are no felony or gross misdemeanor convictions in the last ten years. This also applies to any individual whose offense was dismissed prior to the determination of probable cause or where the prosecuting attorney refuses to file charges and a jury does not return with an indictment.

When proceedings are resolved in an individual's favor, without a not guilty charge due to mental illness, the records cannot be expunged. This is also true in the cases of convictions requiring the individual to register as a sex offender. When these records are granted expungement, all records in relation to the arrest, indictment, trial, and verdict are sealed. However DNA information relating to a charge of probable cause case cannot be expunged.

Expunging Minnesota Records
Petitions for expungement are to be filed to the court in which the case was handled. Information including name, date of birth, address, reason why expungement is requested, the details of the offense -- victims names, charges, orders, trial number, ect. -- progress made towards rehabilitation and personal history, criminal convictions, and any prior requests concerning the case must be included in the petition.

See also:
Minnesota Felony External link (opens in new window)
Minnesota Misdemeanor External link (opens in new window)
Minnesota Gun Laws External link (opens in new window)