What is an expungement?

Under Minnesota law, expungement means the sealing of a criminal record so it is not publicly available. Only a District Court Judge can order a criminal record sealed. An expungement order issued by a Judge seals the criminal record and prohibits the Court and state agencies that hold criminal records from disclosing, acknowledging, or opening the criminal record except under court order or as permitted by law.

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1. What is an expungement?
2. Are my criminal records destroyed or erased by an expungement order?
3. Who can see my criminal record after it’s expunged and sealed?
4. Can the state use a sealed criminal record as a prior offense when charging or sentencing a new offense?
5. Do I have to pay to get an expungement of my criminal record?
6. Do I need to file anything with the Court?
7. Will I need to appear in court for my record to be sealed?
8. How do I find out if I am eligible?
9. How will I know when my records are sealed?
10. Can my application be denied?
11. Why might my application be denied?
12. What can I do if my application is denied or I have more questions?