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Expungement in Minnesota involves sealing court records relating to your charges, arrest, indictment, trial, and related information.

The right to expunge your criminal file is found in Minnesota Statutes Chapter 609A. The type of expungement that may be applicable to you depends on your circumstances.

How to Expunge Your Criminal Record in Minnesota

If you want to expunge your criminal record in Minnesota, follow these steps.

Step 1: Learn about whether expungement is available in your circumstances

Read the information at the bottom of this page to learn about whether you qualify for expungement.

Step 2: Get your criminal case history

The court provides information on how to get a certified copy of your criminal case history.

Step 3: Download, prepare, and file the Minnesota expungement forms

Download the Minnesota expungement forms. Preparing these forms is the challenging part of seeking an expungement. Hiring an attorney to handle this for you is highly recommended. If you want to try to do it yourself, see this step by step guide..

5 Types of Expungement in Minnesota

There are five types of criminal record expungement in Minnesota. These articles provide an overview so you can identify the requirements for your situation:

  1. Expungement of Controlled Substance Offenses in Minnesota Under Chapter 609A.02, Subd. 1, and Minn. Stat. § 152.18 (Discharge & Dismissal
  2. Expungement of Juveniles Prosecuted as Adults in Minnesota Under Minn. Stat. § 609A.02, Subd. 2
  3. Expungement of Certain Criminal Proceedings Under Minn. Stat. § 609A.02, Subd. 3
  4. Destruction of Records Relating to Identification Data and Information held by Minnesota Law Enforcement Under Minn. Stat. § 299C.11
  5. Expungement of Criminal Convictions Under Minnesota Law and Inherent Judicial Authority

Common Expungement Questions & Answers

How long does expungement take in Minnesota?

The Minnesota expungement process takes approximately five months. Under Minnesota law, the court must wait at least 60 days after you mail your paperwork to the government agencies before a judge holds a hearing to consider your request. If the expungement is granted, there is an automatic 60-day waiting period before the expungement becomes effective to allow time for either party to appeal the decision.

What happens to my criminal record when it is expunged?

Your criminal record is sealed by all government agencies included within the Order from the Court. As a result, your criminal record is not accessible by the general public and should not show up during background checks. It is important to understand that the criminal record is only sealed, and not destroyed. A sealed criminal record may still be accessible under very limited and specified circumstances under Minnesota law. If a government agency or a third-party has accessed your criminal record illegally, you may have a civil claim against them, which can include recovering your attorneys’ fees.

Can potential employers see expunged court records?
No, except that criminal justice agencies may open a sealed criminal record without needing a court order for purposes of evaluating prospective employees.

Can landlords see expunged court records?

Can law enforcement see expunged court records?
Yes, under specific circumstances. Government agencies may open a sealed criminal record with or without a court order – depending on the statutory grounds you obtained your expungement – for purposes of furthering an investigation, prosecution, sentencing, or for probation.

Can immigration agencies see expunged court records?
Yes. The expunged criminal record only seals the state records and does not affect the federal records.

Can you seal or expunge criminal records in the BCA or other government agencies?
Yes. But, you must provide proper notice to the BCA, DHS, Board of Teaching, and other government agencies in order for the expungement Order to be effective against these government agencies.

Will expungement remove online mug shots of me or information about my arrest, charges, or guilty plea?

Unfortunately, expungement won’t remove your mug shot photo or other information about you that currently exists on the internet. For this, you may want to search online for “online reputation management” or “how to remove online information about yourself” for services or tips that might help remove information online.

How Much Does It Cost?

An expungement is not cheap, but it offers you a second chance that you deserve. You can expect to pay $2,000 or more, without any guarantee of results.

Expungement Services

  • Criminal Convictions
  • Identification Data
  • Criminal Charges & Non-Convictions
  • Drug Charges
  • Juveniles Prosecuted as Adults

Need help?
Contact an expungement attorney.