How Can I Get A DWI Expunged in Minnesota?
How to Remove a Driving While Impaired Conviction From Your Record
The Minnesota Department of Traffic Safety says one out of seven licensed Minnesota drivers has at least one DWI (sometimes called a DUI) on their record. If your record shows a DWI/DUI conviction, you can have difficulty getting a job or finding housing. The good news is that Minnesota law allows some people to have their DWI convictions expunged.
What Does Expungement Mean in Minnesota?
In Minnesota, expungement means the sealing of a criminal record so it’s no longer publicly available. If you successfully obtain an expungement order, it prohibits all courts and state agencies from disclosing or opening your criminal record except by court order.
Expungement in Minnesota doesn’t include physically destroying or erasing your record. Instead, your record will exist under seal and not be accessible to the public. This can make it easier for you to get a job or apply for housing. The record can still be accessed by law enforcement, courts, and others involved in any future criminal issues you run into.
If you get a DWI expunged and then get another DWI within a certain time period, the law may allow your sealed/expunged record to be considered a prior offense, thus leading to enhanced penalties for the new DWI offense.
What Degrees of DWI Can Be Expunged?
There are four degrees of DWI in Minnesota. They’re each treated differently for expungement purposes.
- 1st degree DWI: This is a felony offense, and felonies are not eligible for expungement.
- 2nd and 3rd degree DWI: These are gross misdemeanors, and you can apply for expungement four years after the date of your conviction, as long as you have not had another conviction in the four-year period.
- 4th degree DWI: This is a misdemeanor, and you can apply for expungement two years after you conviction, as long as you have not had any other convictions during the two-year period.
The Process of DWI Expungement in Minnesota
Once you retain an attorney to assist you, the process of seeking expungement starts by filing a petition with the court. The petition, plus a proposed expungement order, must be mailed to the prosecutor who handled your case. Any other state and local agencies whose records would need to be altered also have to be notified.
Next, the court will schedule a hearing. The hearing will happen no sooner than 60 days after filing your petition. This 60 days gives you and your attorney time to build your case. It also gives time for any state agencies to challenge the expungement.
Talk to an Elk River Attorney About DWI/DUI Expungement
If you have a DWI/DUI on your record and it’s making life difficult, talk to the attorneys at White & Associates about the possibility of expungement. Our lawyers can review your situation, let you know if you’re eligible and guide you through the process.