Sealing Criminal Records to Enhance Justice
According to the FBI, nearly one in three adults in America has a criminal record. Long after people have atoned for the harm they caused and fulfilled their obligations to the justice system, criminal records and the collateral consequences that follow serve as barriers to jobs, housing, education and more, preventing people from serving as productive members of our community. Studies have shown very few people who are eligible to seal their records successfully apply, but among those whose records are sealed, very few commit new crimes and, on average, they experience a significant increase in wages and employment within the next two years.
Is your criminal record a barrier in your life?
We may be able to help you get it sealed.
If you have a criminal record for an offense that was prosecuted by the Washington County Attorney’s Office, we can help you determine if you qualify for expungement. If you qualify, we can help you get your record sealed by the Court at no cost to you.
Expungement is the legal process of sealing a criminal record. Sealing a criminal record can make it easier for you to obtain housing, get a job and certain types of job-related licenses.
What criminal records can be sealed?
- Fifth degree drug possession or sale
- Receiving stolen property
- Damage to property
- Forgery crimes
- Issuing a dishonored check
- Financial transaction card fraud
- Mail theft
Most criminal records have a waiting period before the Court can grant an expungement. In order to qualify, you must remain crime-free during the waiting period. In most cases, the waiting period starts when you are discharged from probation. A new offense can extend the waiting period or disqualify you from eligibility.
The waiting period can vary from zero to five years or more. For example, if you received a stay of adjudication or participated in diversion, you may be eligible one year after completing your agreed-upon terms. If your entire felony case was dismissed, or you were acquitted by the Court or a jury, you may be eligible without a waiting period.
How do I apply to have my criminal record sealed?
Apply using the link below. The information you provide will be used to determine if you qualify. If you do qualify, we will contact you to request additional information necessary to seal your record. If you do not qualify, we will contact you to explain why you are not currently eligible. For Ramsey County Applicants click here.