In Minnesota, a sex crime conviction generally cannot be expunged with the exception of a conviction for 5th Degree Gross Misdemeanor Criminal Sexual Conduct.
Typically, the most severe crimes are ineligible, including sex offenses, murder, and other violent crimes.
Generally, once convicted of a sex crime in Minnesota, the only chance you have at completely removing it from your record is to win an appeal that overturns your conviction.
Because it is very challenging to get a sex crime conviction off of your record, it’s best to do everything in your power to avoid a conviction in the first place.
Can You Get a Sex Offense Expunged?
Can sex crimes be expunged? You can get a sex offense expunged if you were arrested on allegations but never charged or if the case was dismissed before a criminal complaint was filed.
If these things happen, you will not have a court record.
However, you will still have an arrest record. While you ultimately were not charged, the arrest will appear if anyone runs a background check on you (e.g., potential employer or landlord).
Whenever someone is arrested in Minnesota, law enforcement agencies like police departments, prosecutors, sheriff’s office, etc., are involved, and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) keeps a copy of that arrest.
So if you don’t want that arrest record to follow you through your life, you will want to request the arrest record to be destroyed—especially the personal identifying parts (e.g., fingerprints, photographs, unique physical attributes). With no conviction, you can likely seal your arrest record.
DNA Samples Cannot Be Expunged
Importantly, DNA samples and records of an arrested person legally obtained and supported by probable cause at the time of the arrest will not be returned, sealed, or destroyed.
To expunge your arrest record, you do not need to file an expungement petition with the court.
But you must request your expungement, in writing, to the appropriate law enforcement agencies that may have a copy of your arrest.
In addition, you still need to meet specific requirements for this type of expungement.
Eligibility to Expunge Your Arrest Record
Specifically, to be eligible, you must not have a felony conviction or gross misdemeanor within 10 years before the arrest.
In addition, you must meet the following criteria:
- All charges are dismissed before a determination of probable cause; or
- The prosecutor declined to file any charges, and a grand jury did not return an indictment; and
- You did not participate in a diversion program due to the arrest.
While this process typically does not involve the court, it is still complex and requires a thorough application.
We also recommend that you retain an attorney to assist you with drafting the written request and properly and adequately serving all necessary agencies.
What Happens If I Am Charged for a Sex Crime?
Because sex crimes are generally ineligible for expungements in Minnesota, you must have a skilled defense attorney on your side if you are facing a criminal trial.
A strong defense against these accusations is the best way to avoid a conviction that will follow you for the rest of your life.
You may be able to get your sex crime records expunged if you are charged and the charges are later dismissed prior to trial or you are acquitted at trial.
If your sex crime charges were dismissed prior to trial or a jury found you not guilty, reach out to us to begin the expungement process.
Minnesota Criminal Sexual Conduct Lawyers Ready to Defend Your Rights
You might be wondering, Can you get a sex offense expunged? If so, do not hesitate to give our criminal sexual conduct lawyers a call.
We are committed to providing a superb defense tailored to each client’s needs. At Arechigo & Stokka, we understand how much is at stake when dealing with a sex crime conviction.
Contact us online day or night to schedule a free consultation to discuss your options.
Attorney John Arechigo has a passion for criminal defense in St. Paul, MN. John received his J.D., from Hamline University School of Law and also carries a Bachelor of Arts from, The University of Minnesota. John was named Attorney of the Year for 2019 by Minnesota Lawyer. Additionally, John was also named as a 2019 Rising Star and was selected to Minnesota Super Lawyers in 2021. He devotes nearly 100% of his practice to defending individuals charged with a crime.