Factors For Expungement
The law lists out 12 factors the courts will now consider when balancing your benefit against the need of the public to have complete and accurate records:
- The nature and severity of the underlying crime;
- The risk, if any, you pose to the public;
- The length of time since the crime occurred;
- The steps you’ve taken toward rehabilitation following the crime;
- Aggravating or mitigating factors relating to the underlying crime – including your level of participation in the crime, and the context and circumstances of the crime;
- The reasons for the expungement, including your attempts to obtain employment, housing, or other necessities;
- Your criminal record;
- Your record of employment and community involvement;
- Any recommendations of interested law enforcement, prosecution, and corrections officials;
- Recommendations of any victims;
- The amount of any outstanding restitution and, if there is any outstanding restitution, your efforts to make payments or set up a payment plan; and
- Other factors deemed relevant by the court.
Not one of these factors is supposed to be more important than the others. But the Court will stress certain factors over others depending on the type of record at stake. For instance, if alcohol or drugs played a role in the offense, rehabilitation efforts will be critical.
For all cases, the petitioner should try to demonstrate that they have, in fact, been burdened by the criminal record. This exists if the petitioner has been denied housing, had a job offer rescinded once a background check was performed, been denied a professional license, and/or been denied the education they need to further their career. If you don’t have these obvious forms of a burden, get creative. Perhaps you cannot volunteer where you practice your faith or you can’t act as a chaperone for your children’s activities.
Just as importantly, the petitioner needs to show that they are not the same person they were when the offense occurred. Highlight rehabilitation efforts and sell the Court on who they are today. This is the petitioner’s opportunity to tell the Court why they are deserving and have earned this second chance.
An experienced and knowledgeable Minnesota expungement attorney knows how to take a mediocre case and make it a very solid case. And the key is to help build the case in order to positively address as many of the twelve factors as possible. Contact North Star Criminal Defense now to get us started on improving your case.