If you have been convicted of a crime in the past, you may be experiencing challenges in your professional and personal life. You can have your record sealed by filing a petition for expungement. Expungement allows certain information to be struck from your criminal record. Criminal arrests, charges, and convictions can be removed, which means employers and landlords will not be able to see the marks against you. There are only certain circumstances in which a conviction can be disclosed. Nonetheless, expungement can take 3 to 4 months to complete.

When your record is expunged successfully, you will be able to answer “no” on employment applications when asked if you have ever been convicted of a crime. When they perform a background check, your arrest history and conviction history will show up clean. The only entities able to see your record is immigration and law enforcement.

Are You Eligible For Expungement?

When determining whether or not you qualify for expungement, there are three main criteria the court looks at:

  • How serious the crime was because serious crimes have a lesser chance of being expunged
  • The amount of time that has passed since the commission of the crime due to more time passing increasing the chance of expungement
  • The rehabilitation methods taken by the petitioner, such as community service or stable employment

When the petition is approved, the criminal record will be sealed by the court. If there is a jurisdiction or an agency that proves the expungement would be a disservice to public safety, then the expungement may be denied. The Minnesota Judicial Branch has more information on expungement.