A DUI conviction can bring about long-lasting consequences. Even years after completing sentence and probation requirements, a DUI conviction may be in the past, but it is still on your record and certainly not forgotten. Even if you have paid the fines, attended classes, served your sentence, and had your driving privileges reinstated, that DUI conviction from years ago can still have a punishing effect on your life.
A solution to this problem is to have your DUI conviction expunged from your record. When a court orders a criminal record to be expunged, that record is “sealed” and it no longer appears to the public. Potential employers, landlords, or lenders will not see a conviction that has been expunged when running a background check. But, keep in my that your record is never completely erased as law enforcement and court officials will still have access to those files.
An expungement, however, will keep your past record from interfering on job and loan applications. Whether or not this is possible all depends on the laws of the state for where the conviction occurred. Some states allow expungements for arrests that did not result in a conviction, while other states allow expungements under certain conditions. Here is what Minnesota law allows for DUI convictions.
As the most significant DUI offense, a 1st Degree DUI in Minnesota is a felony offense that cannot be expunged under current Minnesota law.
As a gross misdemeanor offense, a 2nd Degree DUI in Minnesota may be expunged four years after the discharge of the sentence, so long as the defendant has no new convictions throughout that period. Although 2nd and 3rd degree DUI’s are both gross misdemeanors, the greater severity of a 2nd degree DUI conviction makes an expungement of this crime more difficult.
Also considered a gross misdemeanor offense, a 3rd Degree DUI is typically charged to first time offenders with blood alcohol concentrations greater than .16; or someone with their second DUI in a 10-year span. Gross misdemeanors may be expunged four years after the discharge of the sentence, so long as the defendant has no new convictions throughout that period.
As a misdemeanor offense, a 4th Degree DUI in Minnesota is typically charged for first-time offenders with blood alcohol concentrations under .16. These convictions may be expunged two years after the discharge of the sentence, so long as the defendant has no new convictions throughout that period.
If you have a recent DUI conviction and are not yet eligible to begin the expungement process, it will be beneficial for you to contact an experienced expungement lawyer. Starting the process in advance will give you a headstart toward possibly expunging your DUI conviction. Although not all expungements are granted, everyone can petition for an expungement. Contact us to discuss your expungement options under Minnesota law. We will help determine if you are eligible for expungement and help you get the second chance that you deserve.
Expungements can be a complicated process. To learn more, check out other Expungement Resources.