Grounds for Expungement

Minnesota Expungement Lawyers

Grounds for ExpungementMinn. Stat. § 609A.02 spells out the statutory grounds for an expungement. In order to get the full remedy – i.e. sealing of the BCA records – you must be eligible for a statutory expungement. If you are not eligible, then you are left with an inherent authority expungement. The following are the statutory grounds for an expungement:

  • Upon the dismissal and discharge from a diversion program for certain drug possession crimes.
  • Convictions of juveniles who were prosecuted as adults.
  • Proceedings resolved in your favor – essentially a not guilty verdict, outright dismissal, or other resolution where you never admitted guilt on the record.
  • Stays of Adjudications and Diversion – You successfully completed the terms of the Stay or Diversion program and have not been charged with another crime for one-year.
  • Petty Misdemeanors and Misdemeanors – Petty misdemeanor and misdemeanor convictions can be expunged if you have not been convicted of a new crime for at least two years since discharge from the sentence.
  • Gross Misdemeanors – These convictions can be expunged if you have not been convicted of a new crime for at least four years since discharge from the sentence.
  • Certain enumerated felonies – The statute lists 50 felony convictions that may be expunged if you have not been convicted of a new crime for at least five years since discharge from the sentence.

It is important to understand that the time limits prescribed above are merely the minimal time limit before which you may file for an expungement.

Any conviction of an offense that requires registration as a predatory offender is not eligible for an expungement.

One ambiguity is how to interpret the waiting period – does it run beginning from the date of discharge from the sentence going forward or from the date of filing the expungement petition going backwards? There is no clear answer and different jurisdictions interpret it differently. We argue that it run backwards as that seems to be the better policy and interpretation of the plain language of the law. But, beware that the state attorneys will likely argue differently if it is to their benefit to do so. By and large, most jurisdictions apply the waiting period in favor of the petitioner. If this could be an issue in your case, we have district court orders to utilize on your behalf that support a finding in your favor.


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