Minnesota Expungement Lawyer & Attorney
Contrary to the popular belief, even a “non guilty” outcome of a criminal case has the potential to affect your future in a very significant way. Getting accused for a criminal offense often leads to a criminal record which hinders the process of gaining employment, renting an apartment or property and many such similar affairs.
A criminal expungement is the process of averting these records from showing up in public view through background checks and similar additional searches. If you want to lead a normal life even after the criminal court case, it is highly recommended that you have a Minnesota expungement lawyer on your side. Lynne Torgerson is a Minnesota expungement lawyer of repute who has painstakingly worked to ensure that her expungement clients are successful.
Ms. Torgerson has long been working in the area of expungements. It is one of her favorite areas. Mr. Torgerson has diligently and extensively done research in this area of law. Her painstaking work has greatly benefitted her clients. Ms. Torgerson has been so dedicated to the area of expungements that she has lobbied the Minnesota legislature for changes to the expungement laws, has drafted proposed legislation, and has successfully litigated cases in the trial courts and Court of Appeals. It is an area in which she can be considered very knowledgeable and expert.
She also handles her criminal cases with an eye towards expungement. Ms. Torgerson often gets clients who have no prior criminal record. Thus, the need to protect their clean criminal record, and, future, and future employment possibilities, is great. Thus, she often seeks to resolve her clients cases with no criminal conviction, no guilty plea, and no admission of wrongdoing. Where such outcomes are obtained, then a person is entitled to an expungment. In such circumstances, a person can get all of his/her records expunged, the judicial and executive. This is because where a conviction occurs, obtaining an expungement is much more difficult, and usually only obtainable in the discretion of the judge.
Expungement of Past Criminal Convictions
In criminal cases where the guilty plea was not entered even once during the pre-trial programs, there is very high probability of the individual qualifying for an expungement. Even a convicted individual has the option of applying for an expungement, usually where the convicted individual has not had any more offenses for a significant amount of time after the conviction. In such a scenario, the convicted individual usually needs to show rehabilitation and provide support or proof that the expungement would not lead to a threat to public safety. In addition to that, the convicted individual usually needs to show also that the criminal record is impeding crucial aspects of his life. It may be mentioned that the likelihood of expungement for individuals who are convicted of serious crimes such as murder or sex crimes is low.
Generally speaking, there are 2 types of expungement. One is complete, for example, where the fingerprints, etc. and records are all destroyed. This is usually where there was no probable cause to support the charge found. The next is sealing. This is where the case was resolved in a defendant’s favor, with no plea or conviction. In this situation, the records are sealed and employers, for example, cannot find them.
An expungement can seal the criminal record from showing up on criminal background checks. Where sealing occurs, government officials such as immigration authorities and police usually can get access to sealed criminal records in the instance of a just cause. It would not be wrong to say that expungement is allowed to individuals who show promise of leading their lives within the legal guidelines drawn by the state.
Can a person receive an expungement of a felony conviction when they received a stay of imposition of sentence and it is subsequently deemed a misdemeanor as a matter of law?
In an expungement appeal in March 2017, the Minnesota Supreme Court, in a sharply divided opinion of 4-3, held that under the new “second chance” law, there is no expungement eligibility for defendants who received a stay of imposition of sentence, successfully complete probation, and upon discharge from probation, their conviction is deemed a misdemeanor as a matter of law. State v. S.A.M. (Minn. 2017).
Commentary: this is a very disappointing result. Defendants need to be able to expunge felony convictions that have been reduced to a misdemeanor. This may be the most important type of case needed to be expunged. Society wants people to turn away from their wrongful criminal conduct, become law abiding, and become contributing members of society. And, when citizens do so, they should be rewarded for it. Further, these types of convictions are probably the most harmful to employment and economic growth. And, people should receive the benefit of what they were told they were getting: a misdemeanor.
The failure to recognize this convictions as eligible for expungement give rise to the very important questions: exactly what is the benefit of a stay of imposition of sentence on a felony conviction, where upon successful discharge from probation, the conviction is deemed a misdemeanor as a matter of law? For purposes of gun rights, it remains a felony. And now, for purposes of expungement, it remains a felony. It is requested that the legislature quickly act to amend and make it clear that if a person receives a stay of imposition of sentence, and is successfully discharged from probation, and the conviction is deemed a misdemeanor as a matter of law, that the defendant can later get said conviction expunged. This is a needed and important amendment to the expungement statutes.
Minnesota Expungement Attorney
More often than not, the expungement process can be very complicated. Only through professional help and assistance can one ensure that the case is properly presented and heard completely and the paper work is filed correctly and without any obstacles. If required, a expungement attorney can also help you in gathering evidence which is essential for the sealing of your criminal record.
In an expungement case, retaining a compassionate and experienced expungement attorney such as Lynne Torgerson can turn the tide in your favour. With over twenty years of experience, she is certainly one of the best Minnesota expungement attorneys in the nation.
Lynne Torgerson is known among her clients for her compassion, and excellent results. If you are on the way of exploring your options for expungement, it is highly recommended that you request for a free consultation with Lynne Torgerson as soon as possible.
Contact Us Today For A Free Consultation
Our Minnesota Expungement Lawyer Lynne Torgerson represents clients throughout the entire State of Minnesota.
Contact Lynne Torgerson today at 612-339-5073 for your free consultation. Our law firm can help you with our qualified Expungement Lawyer in Minneapolis, Minnesota.