Sealing DWI Records

Having a DWI on a person’s criminal record could have a serious impact on his or her future. It could limit future employment opportunities and even create difficulty keeping a current job. In some cases, those with a criminal record could petition to have it sealed.

According to Minnesota Statute 609A.01, a person could seek to have a court order sealing the records and prohibiting the disclosure of their existence or their opening except under court order or statutory authority. This could be beneficial when trying to move on with your life after a conviction.

Apple Valley DWI Record Sealing Lawyer

Dakota County DWI expungement attorney James Blumberg is a former prosecutor who has years of experience on both sides of the law. As a skilled attorney, he can help you petition to have your DWI record sealed so you can move forward with your life.

James Blumberg Law represents clients throughout Dakota County, including Burnsville, Eagan, Hastings, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville, Mendota Heights and Rosemount, as well as anywhere in the Twin Cities region, including Hennepin County, Ramsey County and Anoka County. Call (952) 431-7758 to schedule a free initial consultation today.

Information About Sealing DWI Records

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Can DWI Convictions be Sealed in Minnesota?

According to Minnesota Statute 609A.02, a DWI conviction could potentially be sealed as long as the offense was considered a misdemeanor or a gross misdemeanor. Generally, fourth-degree DWI charges are considered misdemeanors and both third-degree charges and second-degree charges are gross misdemeanors.

Some specific DWI charges that could be considered for expungement include:

  • First DWI with no aggravating factors (misdemeanor);
  • First DWI with alcohol concentration greater than 0.20 (gross misdemeanor);
  • First DWI with child in the vehicle (gross misdemeanor);
  • Second DWI with no other aggravating factors (gross misdemeanor); and
  • Second DWI with alcohol concentration greater than 0.20 (gross misdemeanor).

A person can file a petition to have the arrest, indictment and trial records for these misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor offenses sealed according to Minnesota Statute 609A.02  if:

  • All pending actions or proceedings were resolved in favor of the petitioner;
  • The petitioner has successfully completed the terms of a diversion or stay of adjudication and has not been charged with a new crime for at least one year since the completion;
  • The petitioner was convicted of or received a stayed sentence for a petty misdemeanor or misdemeanor and has not been convicted of a new crime for at least two years; and
  • The petitioner was convicted of or received a stayed sentence for a gross misdemeanor and has not been convicted of a new crime for at least four years.

Additionally, if a person is charged with a felony DWI and is acquitted or the charges have been dismissed, he or she could apply to have records of the offense expunged. Felony DWI charges include various first-degree driving while impaired charges.

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Filing a Petition to Seal a Record

A person who is the subject of a criminal record who is seeking the expungement of the record shall file a petition to have the record sealed, according to Minnesota Statute 609A.03. He or she also would be required to pay the filing fee, which may be waived in cases of indigency.

The petition, according to the law, must include the following:

  • The petitioner’s full name and all other legal names or aliases;
  • The petitioner’s date of birth;
  • All of the petitioner’s addresses from the date of the offense to the date of the petition;
  • Why expungement is sought and why it should be granted;
  • Details of the offense, including the date and jurisdiction, names of any victims or that there were no identifiable victims, whether there is a current or previous order for protection, the court file number and the date of conviction or of dismissal;
  • In the case of a conviction, what steps that have been taken since toward personal rehabilitation, including treatment, work or other rehabilitation;
  • Petitioner’s criminal conviction record;
  • Petitioner’s criminal charges record;
  • All prior requests by the petitioner; and
  • A copy of a restraining order from the victim of the offense, if any.

It is the responsibility of the petitioner to file the order, which must be done by mail. It must be sent to the prosecutorial office that had jurisdiction over the offense and all other state and local government agencies and jurisdictions whose records could be affected by the order.

A hearing for the petition would be held no sooner than 60 days after the petition is served. If there is a victim of the offense, he or she has the right to submit an oral or written statement to the court concerning his or her harm suffered as a result of the crime and a recommendation if the expungement should be granted.

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Factors Considered When Granting a Petition to Seal a Record

The court could grant the petition to seal the record unless the agency or jurisdiction whose records would be affected establishes by clear and convincing evidence that the interests of the public and public safety outweigh the disadvantages to the petitioner of not sealing the record, according to Minnesota Statute 609A.03.

In making the determination, the court could consider:

  • The nature and severity of the crime;
  • The risk the petitioner poses to individuals or society, if any;
  • The length of time since the crime occurred;
  • The steps taken by the petitioner toward rehabilitation;
  • Aggravating or mitigating factors relating to the crime;
  • Reasons for the expungement;
  • The petitioner’s criminal record;
  • The petitioner’s record of employment and community involvement;
  • The recommendations of law enforcement, prosecutorial and corrections officials;
  • The recommendations of victims or whether the victims were minors; and
  • The amount of restitution remaining, if applicable.

An expungement order shall be stayed automatically for 60 days after the order is filed and, if the order is appealed, during the appeal period. An agency or jurisdiction whose records would be affected by the order may appeal the order within 60 days of service of notice of filing of the order.

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Additional Resources

Minnesota Statutes: DWI – Visit the official website for the Minnesota Legislature to view chapter 169 which covers a variety of driving while impaired (DWI) laws. Access the site to view punishments for each statute.

Minnesota Department of Health: Driving While Impaired – Click the link to access the Minnesota Department of Health website to view information regarding driving while impaired (DWI). You can view safety tips and drugged driving statistics.

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Apple Valley DWI Record Sealing Lawyer | Dakota County, MN

If you have a DWI charge on your record and are looking to have it sealed, contact Apple Valley DWI expungement lawyer James Blumberg at (952) 431-7758. As a former prosecutor, he understands the complexities of the criminal justice system and he knows how a criminal record could affect your future. Schedule a free initial consultation today to learn about how you can have you DWI records sealed.

James Blumberg Law represents clients in Minneapolis-St. Paul area, including such surrounding cities as Plymouth, Blaine, Maple Grove, Bloomington, Eden Prairie, and Lakeville.

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