Types of Expungements

Statutory Expungements vs. “Inherent Authority” Expungements

There are two types of criminal expungements in Minnesota: expungements that are ordered under Minnesota statutes and expungements that are ordered under the court’s “inherent authority.”

The relief provided under these two types of expungements is very different.  Statutory expungements seal nearly all records related to the criminal charge regardless of whether the record is held by the judiciary, a state agency, or a private entity.  Expungements issued under a court’s inherent authority, however, only seal the documents held by the judicial branch of government.  As a result, records sealed under the court’s inherent authority will still usually show up in a criminal background check performed by a potential employer, landlord, or other person.

As you can see, a statutory expungement is far superior to an expungement issued under a court’s inherent authority.

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If you have more questions about the differences between statutory and inherent-authority expungements, or want to know what kind of expungement could help you, call (612) 888-5188 or fill out an expungement case review form.  All communications will remain confidential.

Who Can Seek a Statutory Expungement?

Recent changes to Minnesota law, which go into effect on January 1, 2015, will make statutory expungements more widely available.  Under that new law, people that were convicted of crimes can seek expungements if they have remained law-abiding for a certain length of time.  You can seek a statutory expungement of all records relating to an arrest, indictment, trial, or verdict if:

  • You Were Found “Not Guilty”;
  • You Were a Juvenile Charged As An Adult;
  • You Were Convicted of a Drug Offense Under § 152.18;
  • The Case Against You Was Dismissed;
  • You Were Adjudicated Delinquent as a Minor;
  • You Completed a Diversion Program and have not been charged with a new crime within One Year after the completion of that program;
  • You Successfully Completed a Stay of Adjudication and have not been charged with a new crime within One Year after the end of the Stay;
  • You Were Convicted of or Received a Stayed Sentence for a Petty Misdemeanor or Misdemeanor and have not been convicted of a new crime for at least Two Years since probation or jail time was completed;
  • You Were Convicted of or Received a Stayed Sentence for a Gross Misdemeanor and have not been convicted of a new crime for at least Four Years since probation or jail time was completed;
  • You Were Convicted of or Received a Stayed Sentence for Certain Felony Convictions (most non-violent felonies) and have not been convicted of a new crime for at least Five Years since probation or jail time was completed.

In addition, even if you do not qualify for a statutory expungement, you can still seek an expungement under the court’s inherent authority.

If you think you may qualify for a statutory expungement under the new law, call (612) 888-5188 or fill out an expungement case review form so we can get started on your case.  All communications will remain confidential.

Who Can Seek an Inherent-Authority Expungement?

Anyone can seek an expungement under the court’s inherent authority, but because such expungements only seal the judicial records relating to the case, a person that qualifies for an expungement under the statute should seek a statutory expungement.  In addition, the ability to seek an expungement does not necessarily mean a court will grant your request.

Although an inherent-authority expungement only seals judicial records, certain people may still be benefitted by such an expungement.  A potential employer or landlord may be less likely to hold a criminal charge against the person if he or she can produce an expungement order from the court that originally convicted him or her to show that the person no longer poses a threat to the community.

If you want professional advice on what your best options regarding an expungement are, call (612) 888-5188 or fill out an expungement case review form.  All communications will remain confidential.

Factors Considered by the Court

Simply because you qualify to seek an expungement under the statute does not necessarily mean the court will grant your expungement request.  Courts look at a variety of factors to determine whether an expungement is appropriate in a certain case, but the primary thing the judge looks at is whether the person seeking the expungement is no longer a threat to reoffend.

The most important thing a person can do to maximize the possibility their records will be expunged is to stay law-abiding.  People seeking expungements should also find ways they can demonstrate their rehabilitation to a judge.  What this means will vary depending on the specifics of each case.

To find out more about the likelihood a court will seal your record, or to learn how you can boost the possibility your expungement will be granted, call 612-888-5188612-888-5188 or fill out a Free Expungement Case Review Form.  All communications will remain confidential.

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