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If you were arrested, charged, and/or convicted of a crime, the information about the offense gets put on your criminal record. Your record is publically accessible, which means anyone can request a copy and see past mistakes. If you're applying for a job, house, or professional license, the deciding authority may conduct a background check that includes your criminal record. A charge or conviction could influence that agency's final decision, which means you could be denied employment or place to live.
Fortunately, you can pursue a legal remedy known as expungement to request to have your offense information sealed from your record, providing relief from certain hurdles. Unfortunately, the process for wiping your history is complex, and a mistake made at any step could affect the outcome of your case. This is why it's crucial to have an attorney helping you throughout.
At Rogosheske, Rogosheske & Atkins, PLLC, our St. Paul lawyers understand the frustrations you might face when seeking to get a second chance at life through expungement. That's why we provide compassionate and knowledgeable guidance to help you through the process. We have over 80 years of combined experience. We know how to effectively prepare a petition for expungement and present a compelling argument at a hearing.
An expungement allows certain offenses to be sealed from your criminal record. It's important to note that although the information might not be accessible, some law enforcement agencies may still request to review it if they have a lawful reason for doing so.
The process for obtaining an expungement begins with filing a petition with the court. The request must contain specific information, such as details about the offense in question and how you have been rehabilitated since committing the crime. This requires getting your criminal history and writing up a solid report about why the court should grant your expungement. Allow our St. Paul lawyers to help gather the necessary documents and prepare written statements for your request to ensure you submit a complete and compelling petition.
After you submit your petition, all interested parties will be notified of your request. These individuals can object to the expungement. That doesn't mean your petition will be denied, only that the judge will consider their statements.
Before the judge decides whether or not to grant your expungement, they will hold a hearing. During this proceeding, you must present support for your assertions that your criminal record should be sealed. Any interested party may also make their case as to why the expungement should not be granted. You must be prepared to counter their arguments, and our attorneys can help you anticipate possible objections and challenge the opposing party's statements.
The judge will consider many factors in deciding whether an expungement is warranted. These include:
- Nature and severity of the offense in question
- Potential risk to society if the record is sealed
- Length of time since the offense was committed
- Whether the petitioner has worked toward rehabilitation
- Aggravating or mitigating factors involved in the offense
- Reason for the request for expungement
- Petitioner's criminal history
- Recommendations from law enforcement and legal officials
- Recommendations from victims
- Restitution paid by the petitioner
- Petitioner's employment history and involvement with the community
If the request for expungement is granted, it will go into effect 60 days after the judge made the order.
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In Minnesota, an expungement may be sought only for eligible offenses.
This remedy is available for petitioners:
- Whose drug possession offense was dismissed or discharged (applies to specific possession crimes)
- Who were juveniles at the time of the offense and charged as adults, and they were discharged or successfully completed probation and were discharged from it
- Whose cases were decided in their favor
- Who successfully completed a diversion program or stay of adjudication and have not had any other charges for at least 1 year since completion
- Convicted of petty misdemeanors or misdemeanors and have not been charged with a new crime for at least 2 years
- Convicted of gross misdemeanors and have not been charged with a new crime in at least 4 years
- Convicted of low-level felonies and have not been charged with a new crime for at least 5 years
Get Skilled Legal Representation
If you're seeking to have your record cleared, our St. Paul expungement lawyers will review your criminal history and help you understand your legal options.
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