A criminal record can make it difficult to find employment and housing in Minnesota. Thankfully, the state provides a process for limiting access to criminal history. Known as expungement, this option involves the sealing of specific court records.

As local courts emphasize, expunged records are not destroyed. Police officers and other public officials retain access after records have been expunged. However, expungement remains a valuable option for Minnesota residents in search of a fresh start.

Who Is Eligible For Expungement In Minnesota?

Minnesotans convicted of misdemeanors and some low-level felonies can petition courts for expungement after serving their sentence. Depending on the nature of the crime, however, the petitioner may be forced to wait between two and five years before obtaining an expungement. In select cases, prosecutors may approve sealed criminal records without the need for a petition.

Filing Petitions For Expungement: What Does the Process Involve?

Most petitions for expungement come accompanied by filing fees, although these may be waived in select cases. Additionally, each petition must include the following:

  • The petitioner’s full name and date of birth.
  • Any addresses the petitioner has held since the date of the alleged offense.
  • The details of the offense, including the jurisdiction in which it occurred and any victims that may have been impacted.
  • The reason for the petition. Examples could include efforts to secure employment or licensure.
  • Compelling reasons why the court should grant an expungement.

Petitions should be served by mail and signed under oath. A hearing will be scheduled within sixty days of the petition being served. If the expungement is approved, a court administrator will send copies of the order to any affected agencies or jurisdictions.

Don’t let your criminal history dictate your future. Once your records are expunged, you can make a fresh start. The team at the Brown Law Offices can help — contact us today to learn how.

Photo of Jason Brown Jason Brown

Jason Brown founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A. in 2003 after working for several years as an associate attorney in downtown Minneapolis. He graduated with honors from Mankato State University in 1997 and the William Mitchell College of Law in 2000.

Jason has…

Jason Brown founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A. in 2003 after working for several years as an associate attorney in downtown Minneapolis. He graduated with honors from Mankato State University in 1997 and the William Mitchell College of Law in 2000.

Jason has successfully litigated against some of the more recognized family law attorneys in the Twin Cities. He has been named a “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters, and one of the Top 100 Family Law Attorneys in Minnesota by the Society of Legal Advocates.

In addition to his work as a lawyer, Jason serves as a mediator, and court-appointed early neutral evaluator, in divorce and family law cases throughout Minnesota. He frequently writes and speaks concerning divorce and family law issues, including several invitations to present seminars for the Minnesota Judicial Branch in St. Paul.

Beyond family law, Jason has represented hundreds of clients accused of a serious crime, including arson, fraud, unauthorized computer access, burglary, felony strangulation and obstruction of justice. He also provides estate planning services.

Local media appearances by Jason include WCCO Radio, KARE 11 Television, Fox 9 Television and WCCO Television. His national media appearances include NBC News, Time Magazine, USA Today and the Huffington Post.

Jason is the former chairperson of the Family Law Section of the Minnesota Trial Lawyer’s Association, and taught divorce and family law coursework within the paralegal program at North Hennepin Community College. He publishes the Minnesota Family Law Blog, which has been recognized as a “Top 25″ by the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Outside of the office, Jason enjoys playing the bass and electric guitar and spending time in the north woods of Wisconsin.


Areas of Practice
  • Divorce
  • Custody
  • Adoption
  • Restraining Orders
  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Criminal Defense
  • Estate Planning
Notable Cases
  • Representation of Four Grandparents in Minnesota’s First Quad-Parenting Adoption
  • Representation of Client in Minnesota’s First Same-Sex Divorce
Bar Admissions
  • Minnesota State Bar, 2000
  • US District Court – District of Minnesota, 2002
Education
  • William Mitchell College of Law, 2000
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato, 1997
Joined Firm
  • 2003
Professional Associations & Activities
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Presenter, Various CLE Courses
  • Monthly Columnist, Minnesota Lawyer Newspaper