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Under Minnesota law, expungement means the sealing of a criminal record so it is notpublicly available. Only a District Court Judge can order a criminal recordsealed. An expungement order issued by a Judge seals the criminal record andprohibits the Court and state agencies that hold criminal records fromdisclosing, acknowledging, or opening the criminal record except under courtorder or as permitted by law.
No.Expungement will only seal your criminal record. Your criminal record willstill exist under seal. An expunged criminal record will not be accessible tothe public.
Yourexpunged and sealed criminal record can still be accessed by the Court,prosecutors, and law enforcement agencies including police, FBI, immigration,and other agencies in a criminal investigation, prosecution, or for sentencingand probation purposes. Your sealed criminal record can also be accessed bycriminal justice agencies and other state agencies if you apply for certainjobs or apply for types of occupational licenses.
Yes.Many criminal offenses are more serious, or enhanced, if you have prioroffenses of the same type. For example, Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is anoffense where the penalties become more serious if you have prior DWI offenses.When the law permits, a sealed criminal record can be used to enhance thepenalties for new offenses.
Ifyou apply through the Washington County Attorney’s Office, you do not have to paythe $300 filing fee to the Court. If you apply by preparing and filing aPetition for Expungement directly with the Court, you will have to pay a $300filing fee for each offense or ask the Court to waive this fee based on yourincome.
If you apply through the Washington County Attorney’s Office and you qualify for expungement, you do not have to file any paperwork with the Court. If you seek expungement on your own, you must file a Petition for Expungement with the Court and pay a filing fee.
No. If your criminal record is eligible, the Washington County Attorney’s Office will request an expungement from the Court. You will not have to appear in court to seal your record.
Fillout the online application. Once you apply, the Washington County Attorney’sOffice will review your case and determine if you’re eligible to seal yourcriminal record. If you are eligible, we will request additional information tocomplete the expungement process.
After you apply, we will analyze your criminal record and determine if you are eligible for expungement. If you are eligible, we will contact you for additional information to complete your expungement. If you are not eligible, we will contact you to explain why you are not eligible for expungement.
Whenthe Court issues an expungement order, a copy will be sent to the mailingaddress in your application. This is proof that your records have been expungedand are now sealed.
Yes.Your application can be denied by the Washington County Attorney’s Office or by theCourt.
Your offense is not eligible under the Minnesota expungement law.
Not enough time has passed since you were discharged from probation. In some cases, you may be eligible in the future after the waiting period has ended.
You have new crimes or a serious criminal history.
We will carefully consider the factors outlined inthe Minnesota expungement law to determine if sealing your record is appropriate. These factors include the nature and seriousness of the offense, the length of time since the offense occurred, the steps taken towards rehabilitation following the offense, any aggravating or mitigating factors, your participation in the offense, your criminal history, the effect that the criminal record has on your ability to obtain employment, housing, and other necessities of life.
Weencourage you to seek community-based legal assistance ifyour application is denied or if you have other questions about the law orlegal process.