Can You Walk Me Through The Process Of Getting A Record Expunged?
The expungement process takes quite some time. It is, like many things in the court system, not a fast process by any means. Once a person has decided to pursue an expungement, they can contact an attorney at any point in time. It is helpful to have several things ready before contacting an attorney, and certainly before filing any paperwork. First, a person needs to demonstrate a basis for the expungement. This entails addressing the reason for the conviction showing up on background checks and the specific ways in which it has been detrimental to the person. Specificity is important as these details will be presented to a judge. Second, a person should have letters of support, or at least people in their life who are willing to write letters of support at the direction of the attorney. This allows the judge to see that the person has community support. Once these things are in order, a person can certainly contact an attorney. Once having done so, the process of filling out the petition will begin.
The petition is very detailed and will require a statement regarding the ways in which the criminal record has had a detrimental impact on the person. It will also require information regarding any other criminal background the person may have. This can even include traffic violations, so it is important to have all the pertinent records available. Also included in the petition needs to be a background check from any other state in which the person may have a record. Once the petition is filed, it is served to about ten different agencies throughout the State of Minnesota so that each one can respond to the request for an expungement. If there is an objection to the expungement, the court will schedule a hearing for the person.
If a hearing is scheduled, the person must speak directly with the judge concerning the reason for the expungement request, and what steps have been taken to avoid criminal activity in the future. For example, demonstrating that a treatment program has been successfully completed can serve as evidence of significant behavior modification and thereby lower the concern of recidivism. After the judge makes a decision, there is a 60 day period before the expungement is final. This allows anybody the opportunity to file an appeal. In its entirety, the process usually takes at least four to six months, depending on the court calendar and how quickly things can be scheduled.
Do I Need To Hire An Experienced Attorney To Handle An Expungement?
In some cases, expungements can be handled without an attorney. This is particularly true if the person is dealing only with a misdemeanor offense. However, it is advisable to have an experienced attorney to assist with more complicated expungements involving questionable eligibility. Having an attorney will provide more assurance that things are being taken care of, that every agency will be served, and that the request will not be denied based on a technicality.
For more information on Process Of Expungement In Minnesota, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (800) 684-9740 today.
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