An arrest, criminal charge, or criminal conviction can have serious consequences long after the case is closed. The records can haunt you for years, hurting your ability to get a good job, preventing you from getting a safe home, making you unable to get a license to do your job, or even preventing you from possessing a firearm. But it doesn’t have to be that way. A good lawyer can often help you get records expunged (sealed), making sure your past stays in your past.
There are several kinds of expungements. The most basic type of expungement relies on a court’s inherent authority to seal its own records from the public, but this does nothing about records held elsewhere, such as at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), police department, sheriff’s office, and prosecutor’s office, and often these records cause many of the problems that people face. Another type of expungement relies on Minnesota’s statutes, and this type of expungement can result in the sealing of records held both by the courts and by many other agencies. While most expungements do not wipe away the conviction entirely, in some cases, such as where a person was granted a particular kind of stay of adjudication or where there was a relationship between the offense and the person being the victim of a crime, the expungement can return the person to the status they occupied before the records were created. In some expungements, the state bears the burden of showing why a person should not receive an expungement, while in some cases, a petitioner has to prove that they deserve an expungement of their criminal records. Some expungements require hearings, but in others the parties can agree that a hearing is not necessary.
Because the expungement laws and processes are complex, you want an experienced lawyer by your side. Many lawyers, including criminal defense lawyers, say they have expertise in expungements though they handle them only occasionally and are familiar only with the basics. The expungement attorneys at Liebow & Liebling, PLLC have years of experience winning the expungement of criminal and juvenile delinquency records, often in very serious cases. David successfully litigated one of the first cases in Olmsted County under a major update to the expungement statutes and handled the first appellate case under the new laws, resulting in a published decision by the Minnesota Court of Appeals and an argument of the case to the MInnesota Supreme Court. David is also a member of a statewide expungement task force, giving him access to other attorneys in Minnesota with deep experience and knowledge of the expungement process. David has successfully petitioned for expungement of records for clients accused of offenses as serious as assault, domestic assault, and felony criminal sexual conduct. Our firm’s expertise in this field is recognized in southeastern Minnesota, as David has been asked to speak to other legal professionals about criminal records and is regularly is called upon to teach an expungement clinic sponsored by the Olmsted County Law Library and Legal Assistance of Olmsted County.
If you want to move forward with your life without your arrest, charge, or conviction following you, contact Liebow & Liebling, PLLC today.