MINNESOTA EXPUNGEMENT LAW IS CHANGING!

5/16/2014

Governor Dayton signed new juvenile and criminal records expungement legislation into law on  May 14, 2014. The new law will go into effect Jan. 1, 2015. Designed to help individuals rebuild their lives after contact with the criminal justice system, the legislation will provide expungement relief for Minnesotans pursuing a second chance, often long after they have been held accountable for their actions.

The legislation provides specific remedies, including clarifying juvenile delinquency expungement, extending sealing powers to the executive branch, requiring private screening services to delete expunged records, and protecting employers and landlords from liability based upon an expungement.

The most important aspects for those seeking an expungement are:

1.  The following executive branch (as well as judicial branch) records may be sealed if the petitioner shows by clear and convincing evidence that their need for an expungement outweighs any public safety concerns: 1) diversion and stay of adjudication records 1 year after completion of sentence if crime free; 2) petty misdemeanor and misdemeanor records 2 years after completion of sentence if crime free; 3) gross misdemeanors 4 years after completion of sentence if crime free (domestic abuse related offenses not eligible until July 2015); and 4) most nonviolent felonies that are level 1 or 2 on the sentencing guidelines 5 years after completion of sentence if crime free. Click here for a list of eligible felonies.

2.  All records related to juvenile delinquency can be expunged.

3.  Requires private business screening services to delete expunged records.