No one wants to be judged by their worst mistake. Most mistakes are solvable and do not burden individuals for a prolonged period of time. However, having a criminal conviction on your record can be a mistake that lasts a lifetime. Potential employers and landlords can search your criminal record and find most prior criminal charges and convictions. The result of this can cost you a job or a place to live.

For some convictions, however, there is a solution: expungement. If you receive an expungement, your conviction is sealed and is not viewable by the public. For employers and landlords, it’s as if the conviction never existed. That’s why a judge Landon appeared in front of recently called expungements “legal magic”. However, if you get an expugement, your record is not completely gone. Law enforcement and immigration agencies can still see your record.

Some convictions cannot be expunged, but the laws have changed and opened many doors for people trying to get their lives back. If your case resolved in any of the following, you may be able to seek an expungement:

  • All cases resolved in favor of the defendant, including cases where charges were dismissed, cases that resulted in an acquittal by a judge or jury, and any other case that did not involve a guilty plea.
  • Any case involving a diversion where charges were dismissed after successful completion of formal or informal probation if it has been one year since the completion of conviction.
  • All petty misdemeanor offenses if it has been two years or more since the date of conviction.
  • All misdemeanor cases if it has been two years or more since the date of discharge from probation or sentence.
  • All gross misdemeanor cases if it has been four years or more since the date of discharge from probation or sentence.
  • Some felonies if it has been five years or more since the date of discharge from probation, parole, or sentence.
For most other convictions, you must provide the court with the following things if you want an expungement:
  • Case number of the charge you want to have expunged.
  • All residence addresses from date of conviction.
  • A statement about why you want an expungement.
  • A statement about how you’ve changed since your conviction.
  • All criminal charges.
  • The name of victim (if any).
After you fill out the necessary paperwork, you need to pay a filing fee for the expungement. The fee varies by county, but usually costs around $320. The next step is an expungement hearing, which is set at least 63 days from the filing date. If the judge grants your expungement, you have to wait another 60 days from the hearing for your criminal record to be sealed.

As you can see, getting an expungement is a complicated and lengthy process. On top of the paperwork mentioned above, you must notify 10 to 16 city, county, and state agencies of your expungement request. The notification gives the agencies notice of your request and gives them a chance to object to it.

Don’t let a mistake define who you are to potential employers and landlords. At Ascheman Law, we can help you navigate this maze and assist you in getting a charge or conviction expunged. 612-217-0077 Landon Ascheman has successfully obtained expungements for numerous clients. He has presented expungement seminars and educational programs to a variety of groups, including the Minnesota State Bar Association, the Ramsey County Bar Association, and William Mitchell College of Law.