Expungement Law Update

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A bill to reform a number of aspects of the existing expungement laws has been drafted and filed with both the Minnesota House and Senate. On March 5th I sat in on a hearing before the Judiciary Committee of the House on the bill.

What’s in the Bill?

A summary of the bill describes the bill as “expanding judicial expungement authority over juvenile expungements; requires business screening records to keep their criminal records current; allows for eviction records to be expunged at the time of judgment; expands the scope of statutory expungement in chapters 609A; creates a path to expungement without petitioning the court; amends the factors for a court to consider in granting a statutory expungement ; amends the law governing access to expunged records; and creates additional notice requirements for expungement orders.”

A couple of amendments were offered on the floor which were not opposed by the bill’s author, and the law as amended was passed out of the committee and sent to the House civil law committee. It is not expected to have much if any opposition in that committee. This is all good news. The bill is moving forward at a fast pace. No one who testified at Wednesday’s hearing testified in opposition to the bill. The current bill seems to have strong bipartisan support.

What Does This All Mean?

If all goes well, we believe the bill will pass both the House and Senate, and we further believe that Governor Dayton will sign it into law. If that occurs the changes will become law effective 8/1/2014.

The new law would make a number of people eligible for expungements that are not currently eligible.

BGS lawyer’s have been handling expungements for clients for some time, and will be ready to help all those who would be newly eligible. If you have any questions, please call us. This is a good thing especially for those young people having a record that is not eligible for expungement under current law.   Look for future updates! We will keep you posted on the bill as it progresses toward becoming law.

About Jon P. Erickson

Jon Erickson is Of-Counsel at BGS and the Practice Group Leader for Consumer law (PI, Family, Wills/Estate Planning and Criminal Defense). Jon has been the recipient of honors and awards as a criminal defense specialist; including the highest rating given by a national publication, a “Super Lawyer” designation. In January 2012, Jon was named a Certified Criminal Law Specialist by the Minnesota State Bar Association. This certified specialist designation is earned by less than 3% of all Minnesota licensed attorneys.

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