In our last post, we talked about expungement and how the Minnesota Supreme Court narrowly decided that the "Second Chance" law in this state did not apply to an individual who had criminal conviction downgraded to a misdemeanor. This meant he would not be able to expunge the conviction.
This is an unfortunate blow to the idea of expungement in the state of Minnesota, but it doesn't mean that expungement is impossible. People who are accused of lower level crimes, even if they are low-level felonies, can apply for expungement and achieve it. However, as the case we wrote about earlier this week shows, nothing is simple and straightforward about criminal law. Every case is different, and the details matter.
For example, in the state of Minnesota, you can expunge a DUI after a waiting period. Drunk driving offenses can punish people for many years after they are convicted (or even accused) of the crime. They can suffer personal and professional consequences. They can find themselves dealing with immense financial penalties. And they can struggle to find places to live as a result of their criminal background.
Expungement is a way of sealing their record away so that this doesn't impact their ability to find jobs or new places to live. It is a weight that is lifted off of their shoulders. Achieving expungement is no guarantee, but it can be well worth it if you are properly advised and go through the process appropriately.
Source: FindLaw, "DUI Expungement," Accessed April 14, 2017