How do I get an expungement or pardon in Minnesota?
Expungements and pardons are ways for Minnesota citizens to get a fresh start in spite of a criminal history. Anyone can benefit from expungement of criminal records, no matter if the criminal history in question is short or severe.
A criminal record leads to many lost opportunities. An overwhelming 92% of hiring organizations conduct some form of a background check. Over 25% of employers reject job seekers due to criminal history.
Some misdemeanors can prevent professionals from being licensed by the Department of Human Health and Services for a seven year period. This can mean a loss of income for healthcare workers.
More than 60% of colleges and universities require applicants to answer questions about their criminal history. Based on this information, prospective students can be denied scholarships or college entry.
As 25% of Minnesotans have some form of a criminal record, expungements can brighten the futures of a large segment of the population.
If you have a prior charge, it does not have to affect your life forever. An experienced lawyer can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your criminal record and guide you through steps to getting it pardoned or expunged. Call the attorneys at Sand Law at 651-291-7263 to discuss the options available to you.
What is an Expungement and Pardon?
When a criminal record is expunged, it’s sealed. In other words, it’s hidden from the general public. Criminal records become unsearchable to potential employers, future landlords, and other like entities that vet applicants.
It is important to note that the criminal record is not destroyed. The police, FBI, immigration officers, and other public officers can still see the record.
Some offenses that cannot be expunged may be eligible for a pardon. A pardon does not prevent a criminal record from appearing in a public search. However, pardons can restore rights such as the right to gun ownership.
In Minnesota, you can petition to receive a pardon after you have completed your sentence and a certain period of time has elapsed after the completion of that sentence. If the pardon is granted, the state will set aside the conviction and the petitioner will no longer have to report it.
Do I Qualify for an Expungement or Pardon in Minnesota?
The main requirements for getting an expungement of your criminal records is completing your sentence and waiting two years to apply. During those two years, you must not have another criminal conviction.
The court has to decide whether granting an expungement is in the best interest of society. The best action that a former offender can take to demonstrate that these records should be expunged is to lead a productive life.
You may qualify for a pardon if you have completed your sentence and you do not have another criminal conviction for a certain period of time. For violent crimes, that period is 10 years. For non-violent crimes, that period is five years. Minnesota Statute 624.712 determines what is considered a violent or non-violent crime.
What are the Requirements to get an Expungement?
You have to file an expungement request with the court. The court may grant a full expungement, meaning your records will be sealed at all government agencies. Partial expungements may be granted as well. In those cases, records are sealed at the courthouse. The entire process takes about four to six months.
What Should I know about getting a Pardon?
In Minnesota, people who have been convicted of a crime have the opportunity to be pardoned if they can demonstrate that they have taken steps to change and live as law-abiding citizens.
Technically, there are no offenses that are ineligible for a pardon. However, it is highly unlikely for severe offenses like crimes against children to actually get pardoned.
Pardons are granted by The Board of Pardons. This board includes the governor, the attorney general, and the chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. The board holds only two public meetings a year to consider applications. Board members must come to a unanimous decision. They issue up to 20 pardons on an annual basis.
There are different types of relief that can be granted including commutations and pardons extraordinary. A commutation is a lighter punishment than the original one, so it can be issued while a sentence is being served. A pardon extraordinary is a pardon granted after a sentence is served to clear an offender’s record.
Do I need an attorney to get an Expungement or Pardon?
There are no guarantees when it comes to getting a pardon or expungement. That is why it is so important to give yourself the utmost chance of a positive outcome. An experienced attorney will be able to file the correct legal briefs to show your case in the best light.
Whether you are seeking a pardon or expungement, your attorney will appear on your behalf in court and make the best possible arguments in your favor.
The attorneys of Sand Law believe that you deserve a clean slate. Our legal team will represent your interests and leave no stone unturned in getting you the best possible results. Contact Sand Law online or by calling us at 651-291-7263.