I have had some misdemeanors on my record for sometime and I would like to have them removed if possible. How would I go about taking care of this.

Asked on July 2, 2009 under Criminal Law, Minnesota


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You need to move for an "expungement".  Basically in Michigan this means tha the record is not erased but rather sealed.  For employment purposes your record will not exist.  The court will grant the petition to seal the record unless the agency or jurisdiction whose records would be affected establishes by clear and convincing evidence that the interests of the public safety outweigh the disadvantages to the petitioner of not sealing the record.  The court basically will look at three criteria:

(1) the seriousness of the offense (more serious means less chance of expungement);

(2) time that has elapsed since the offense (the more time, the more likely the court will expunge); and

(3) the rehabilitative measures taken by the petitioning defendant (such as community service, counseling, stable employment, etc.).

As a general rule, defendants should wait at least two years to attempt to expunge a misdemeanor, with a much longer timeframe for more serious crimes.  Some criminal convictions, such as DWI and criminal sexual conduct, can never be expunged.

Eligible adults or juveniles prosecuted as adults in Minnesota must file a sworn petition for expungement.  The petitioner must serve the petition for expungement and a proposed expungement order on the criminal prosecutors office that had jurisdiction over the offense for which expungement is sought and all other state and local government agencies and jurisdictions whose records would be affected by the proposed order.  The petition will outline the basic facts of the case, the reason expungement is sought and describe the rehabilitative measures that have been undertaken by the petitioner.

A hearing is to be held no sooner than 60 days after service of the petition.  A victim of the criminal offense for which expungement is sought has a right to submit an oral or written statement to the court at the time of the hearing, describing the harm suffered by the victim as a result of the criminal activity and the victim's recommendation on whether expungement should be granted or denied.  Sometimes the prosecutor or attorney general will offer legal argument, but in other cases they do not even attend the hearing and defer to the court.

Here's a site that will help you get started:  http://www.sado.org/cdn/expungement2003.pdf


N. K., Member, Iowa and Illinois Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You must complete required forms and serve copies to the prosecutor and other government agencies that keep criminal records on file. Then you file the original papers with your local district court.

You will get a hearing to ask the court to expunge (seal) your record and to answer any objections from the parties that were served with copies of the forms. The court will then decide whether or not to grant your request.

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