If you have been charged with or convicted of a crime, the effects can last long past the end of the sentence or the case's dismissal. The truth is, the details of your case are still documented in the Minnesota criminal court records and those records – available to the public – could deny you future opportunities for work or housing.
Your Minnesota criminal court record includes any and all felony, gross misdemeanor, misdemeanor and/or petty misdemeanor crimes charged against you. If you were convicted of a crime, the sentence you served will also be included here. District courts, as well as city, county and state law enforcement offices keep their own records for cases related to their jurisdictions.
To view your Minnesota criminal court record, you must contact the district court in the county where you were charged with a crime and ask them for a copy. If you are looking for broader, statewide information, you must contact the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).
Some information contained in your Minnesota criminal court record is available to the public, including the type of crime you were charged with and where and when the conviction or case dismissal occurred. Details about the sentence served and a description of the crime or court process may also be included but are not always available.
This information can be viewed by potential landlords or employers if they choose to search the court's records, but remember that each county only has information related to cases charged within its borders. Employers or landlords can also search the BCA public records for information. They can also view the BCA's private records – but only if they have signed, written consent from the individual whose records are being reviewed. Private records include any applicable juvenile criminal history.
If you are concerned that the information included in your Minnesota criminal court records could deny you working or housing opportunities, you have options. You can request the court expunge your record. A successful expungement will seal your record to the general public but records held with agencies such as the BCA may not be sealed. It is also important to note that crimes such as murder or sex-related offenses cannot be expunged.
If you feel your Minnesota criminal court records are denying you opportunities and you're interested in learning more about your options, you need experienced legal counsel. Contact Attorney Eric J. Olson for vigorous defense and unrivaled results.