Minneapolis Expungement Attorney
Anyone who has a criminal conviction will want to look into the matter of expungement. After all, if you can erase a criminal conviction from your permanent record, why wouldn’t you? The last thing you want weighing you down is your criminal history. Unfortunately expungement is not a simple process. Furthermore, not everyone can apply for an expungement of their criminal offense. However, below are some steps to determine if you should apply for expungement and what to expect from the process:
Is Expungement Right for You?
Expungement is the removal of any criminal records or information in court files, computers and other depositories. You may want to consider an expungement for certain convictions in the past as well as any arrests that have resulted in a non-guilty sentence. Your ability to qualify for expungement will depend on a number of factors related to your criminal conviction including the following:
- How long has elapsed since the offense? It is a good idea to wait at least two years before you petition to expunge a misdemeanor offense and longer for a felony offense. If it has been more than five years since your arrest, then expungement might be right for you.
- What type of offense have you committed? Some criminal acts cannot be expunged from your record, regardless of how much time as elapsed. This includes any criminal sexual conduct or sex crimes acts as well as any DUI offense. Felony offenses may be harder to expunge because of the seriousness of them. In general, misdemeanor offenses have a much higher chance of being taken off the public records.
- What have you done to prove you have changed? If you have remained out of trouble since your arrest, then you can apply for expungement.
Furthermore, if you have obeyed the law as well as taken the measures to rehabilitate yourself and rejoin society, then you also have a good chance of being accepted for the expungement process. This may include participating in counseling, anger management training, community service and other rehabilitative measures. Your lifestyle, including your job and your accommodation, will also impact your likelihood of having a crime expunged.
Understanding the Expungement Process
Although the process of expungement deals with criminal records, they are considered civil lawsuits. While some expungement hearings are handled by the Minnesota Supreme Court, others are looked after in the Minnesota Court of Appeals. You can expect any expungement process to take around four months to complete. The steps to expungement include the following:
- You will need to file a formal petition for expungement
- Sixty days after the petition have been filed, you will attend a court hearing and submit an oral and written statement to the court discussing your reasons for seeking expungement
- The court will make a decision based on the evidence and the documentation you have submitted
Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney
It is important that you seek legal representation when contemplating expungement for your past. Our attorneys will assess your case, determine if expungement is a viable option and, if so, help you with the documentation needed to succeed in having your crime expunged. If you are considering expungement, then contact Anoka criminal lawyer Michael Brandt at 763-421-6366 for a free, no obligation consultation.