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A criminal conviction, whether a misdemeanor or a felony, can cause denial of employment, inability to obtain housing, as well as denial of a professional license which can end a promising career. A conviction for stealing a pack of gum at a convenience store can result in years of lowered income and loss of reputation. Even 20 years after successfully completing probation, there are still publicly-available records over the internet that are easily accessed by potential employers, landlords, and gossiping neighbors.
Statutory expungement is the sealing of judicial and executive branch records. This form of expungement allows for a complete sealing of all records of your convictions held by the courts and governmental agencies, such as the FBI, BCA, or local law enforcement. (See below for more information.)
If you do not qualify for statutory expungement, an “inherent authority” expungement may be your best option. This will allow your judicial branch (court) records to be sealed, but not those from any executive branch agency. (See below for more information.)
People make mistakes and go on to turn their lives around all the time. Margoles & Margoles, P.A. can help you get back on your feet.
If you're uncertain about whether you should seek an expungement or not, schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys today. We'll help you make the best decision for your future.
Expungements should be done as quickly as possible to prevent "data miners" from finding your information. Without a sealed record, your information could be sold to private companies who perform criminal background checks, which could affect your future employment and housing applications.
What can expungement do for me?
An expungement is the sealing of a person’s criminal record. There are two forms of expungement.
“Statutory expungement” is the sealing of all judicial branch records, executive branch records, and private data mining company records. It is specifically allowed by statute for certain offenses after set periods of time. Statutory expungement allows for a complete sealing of all records of your conviction(s) that are held by the courts, governmental agencies, and even private data mining companies. Your files cannot be viewed or opened again without a court order.
Judicial “inherent authority” expungement may be available in instances where a person does not qualify for statutory expungement, but it will not seal the records of any executive branch agency (such as the Department of Public Safety, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the FBI, local law enforcement agencies, and the Department of Human Services).
Is it easy to get an expungement?
Not always. The attorneys at Margoles & Margoles have been successful in the vast majority of our clients’ expungement cases, but navigating through the expungement laws, determining whether a person can obtain statutory expungement or merely “inherent authority” expungement can be a tricky matter. Furthermore, many prosecutors and governmental agencies actively oppose petitions for expungement on a regular basis. For instance, the Department of Human Resources routinely opposes expungements for people who want to become nurses, certified nursing assistants, home health care assistants, etc.
In our free initial consultation, we will discuss the type of expungement for which you are eligible and your chances of success. We then spend a long time researching the law, learning about your current circumstances, and drafting a petition that proves to the court that you deserve an expungement.
Do I need an expungement if my case was dismissed?
Your original charges and all other filed documents can still be accessed, free of charge, by any member of the public going to a courthouse computer. The arresting law enforcement agency, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Department of Public Safety, and other governmental agencies also maintain records on you, despite the court’s dismissal of your case. The only way all of these records can be sealed and hidden from the public is through an expungement.
Is it necessary to do an expungement right away?
An expungement should be done as soon as legally possible, because the courthouse computers are filled every day with “data miners” who try to get all information available on everybody. This information is collected and stored by private companies who perform criminal background checks. The only way to protect yourself, your future employment, and your housing applications is to get an expungement. An expungement order can force these private companies to delete any records they have concerning the expunged offense.
If your mugshot, arrest, or conviction record is already on the internet, call us. We have been able to get these postings removed from the internet, including those unflattering and embarrassing mugshots.