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Petty Misdemenor on Background Checks/Expungement

Minneapolis, MN |

In 2005 I was convicted of misdemeanor theft. I recently contacted my attorney from the case about expungement. He went to the district attorney that tried the case to see if he would be against it & he contacted me today with 2 options.
1- The DA agreed to my attorney filing for the misdemeanor to be dropped to a petty misdemeanor. My attorney says that this would make it technically not a crime, it would be the same as a traffic ticket & I would not have to report it on a job application when asked if I have been convicted of a crime. 2- Go to court and try and get the record expunged.

My Questions is
1- if I go w/ option 1 will the petty misdemeanor show up on the average background checks done by employers?
2 - to be continued in next post

2 - if I continue to have job offers rescinded because the petty misdemeanor shows up in my background checks could I apply to have the petty misdemeanor expunged?

Attorney Answers 2


To accurately answer your question you must first understand that an expungement is not an automatic procedure. Although it appears that the "DA" is willing to work with your attorney, which does not mean the he will not object to an expungement or that a judge will sign an expungement order. You situation might support an expungement but it is not guaranteed. Reducing the misdemeanor to a petty is a guarantee. You just have to make sure that the misdemeanor offense is decertified, meaning that it is taken off the criminal record. If this occurs, you are in the same position as if you had an expungement. The prior misdemeanor offense is then replaced with a plea of guilty to a petty misdemeanor offense that is not reported the BCA and placed on your criminal record because it is not a crime. We are speaking about the criminal record and not a traffic record. Petty misdemeanor moving offense will appear on your driving record. Always remember that your criminal file is public record and potential employers do hire agencies to not only run your record but also go to county courthouses in area of residence and physically look at files. However, if you are in a position to represent that you have no criminal convictions, that should not raise any red flags. I hope this helps. You should speak to your attorney about this and follow his/her ultimate advice. Good luck.

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1 comment



Thank you Brent. I do understand that an expungement is not a guarantee. I will make sure to ask my attorney about the misdemeanor offense being decertified. He had said that the record would be "resubmitted" in his words, to the BCA as a petty misdemeanor and he couldn't guarantee that it wouldn't show up on a BCA background check. Again thank you, I just wanted to get a second opinion on the options I had.


If you have an attorney working on your case, you should discuss these questions with him.

This information is general in nature. You should not rely on this information as legal advice, as each case is unique. This information does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are in need of legal advice concerning a particular matter, you are encouraged to contact us at your earliest convenience.

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