In Minnesota, juvenile records can have a long-lasting impact on a young person’s life. Even minor offenses committed as a juvenile can appear on background checks and impact job opportunities, housing, and education. Minnesota law does provide a path to expunge juvenile records under certain circumstances.
Expungement is sealing or destroying records of criminal charges or convictions. When a record gets expunged, it is no longer accessible to the public or most employers, landlords, or educational institutions. Minnesota law allows for the expungement of juvenile records in certain circumstances.
Eligibility Requirements for Juvenile Record Expungement
To be eligible for expungement, an individual must meet specific criteria, including
- Age Requirement: The individual must be at least 18 or have been discharged from juvenile court jurisdiction for at least five years.
- No Felony Conviction: The individual must not have been convicted of a felony-level offense as an adult.
- No Certain Convictions: The individual must not have been convicted of certain enumerated offenses, including criminal sexual conduct, homicide, or drug offenses.
- Sentence Completion: The individual must have completed their sentence, including probation or supervision.
- Interests of Justice: The individual must demonstrate that expunging their juvenile record serves the interests of justice.
In addition to meeting these criteria, the individual must complete the necessary paperwork and attend a court hearing. It’s essential to have a knowledgeable attorney who can help navigate the process and ensure the best possible outcome.
Benefits of Expunging a Juvenile Record
Expunging a juvenile record can have numerous benefits for an individual. By sealing or destroying the records related to the juvenile case, the individual can pursue opportunities that may have been previously unavailable. These opportunities can include employment, housing, and education.
When applying for a job, many employers conduct background checks to assess the applicant’s character and fitness. Expunging a juvenile record can help individuals overcome the negative stigma of having a criminal record and increase their chances of obtaining employment.
Similarly, many landlords conduct background checks on potential tenants. A juvenile record can negatively impact an individual’s ability to secure housing. Expressing a juvenile record can help remove this barrier and allow the individual to secure housing without fear of being denied due to past mistakes.
A juvenile record can also impact an individual’s ability to pursue higher education. Some schools may refuse admission based on an individual’s criminal history. Expunging a juvenile record can help remove this barrier and allow the individual to pursue their educational goals.
Overall, expunging a juvenile record can provide a fresh start for individuals who have made mistakes in the past. It’s important to note that expungement is not guaranteed, and each case is unique. However, individuals can confidently make informed decisions and pursue their goals by understanding the eligibility requirements and potential benefits.
How Expunging a Juvenile Record Can Help Move Forward from Past Mistakes
Expunging a juvenile record can be a valuable opportunity for individuals to move forward from past mistakes and pursue their goals. By meeting the eligibility requirements and following the proper procedures, individuals may be able to seal or destroy the records related to their juvenile case, providing a fresh start for their future. Suppose you or someone you know is interested in expunging a juvenile record in Minnesota. In that case, it’s essential to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney who can help navigate the process and protect your rights.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is an AV-Preeminent rated criminal and DWI defense attorney based in Minneapolis who is known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge and has been named a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law by the Minnesota Bar Association. Mr. Keyers is Lead Counsel rated, and he has received recognition for his criminal law work from Avvo, Expertise, Super Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, and more.