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A driving offense is coming up on my criminal record, can I get this changed or removed?

Saint Paul, MN |

In Sept. of 2011 I was pulled over because the light bulb by my license plate was broken and hanging off. Upon them pulling me over I found out my license was suspended for a unpaid ticket. They throw out the driving after suspension and charged me with public nuisance for the broken light which is a petty misd, I took the charge and paid the fine. Since then I have been looking for new housing and employment and this is coming up on my criminal record, which has caused me to be denied housing. I am wondering if I can get it expunged or get the conviction changed to read that it is a driving offense, I can't believe something so minor is effecting my life so much.

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

While some states do not allow for the remedy of expungement of criminal convictions, Minnesota fortunately does provide for such a remedy. Therefore, you want to go back and petition the court to expunge and seal you misdemeanor conviction. Hopefully, that will solve the existing problem.

Jennifer M. Macaulay

Jennifer M. Macaulay

Posted

Minnesota law is somewhat complex as it relates to expungement. I suggest that you contact a Minnesota-licensed attorney on this question.

Posted

You could look into an expungement proceeding, though before doing that I would suggest looking at the whatever government records the problematic background checks are referencing, then go directly to the source of those and see what they say. Sometimes they are mistaken and the mistake can be corrected - more quickly and easily than a potential expungement motion. For example, you may be able to find your case record at the Minnesota courts website http:://mncourts.gov to see if it is accurate, or not. If a misdemeanor criminal charge was dismissed, and the only conviction was for a petty misdemeanor, it should indicate the "level of conviction" is petty misdemeanor (which is not a crime). More at links below.

Posted

Please make sure to remember that regardless if you are successful in obtaining an expungement THAT certain professional licenses (Doctor, lawyer, real estate), and/or "law enforcement" positions, and/or "government employment" require YOU to AFFIRMATIVELY and VOLUNTARILY disclose ANY and ALL such matters for "ethical and fiduciary" reasons, whether or not expunged! And failing to disclose the same becomes a separate possible "perjury" issue. Just make SURE you read ANY employment form very carefully as you fill out the same. And, you may be better simply disclosing and explaining the same, as it shows candor and the fact that you have "nothing to hide"....Good Luck!

Jennifer M. Macaulay

Jennifer M. Macaulay

Posted

I reccomend that you contact a Minnesota attorney about this as well. In the event that you secure an expungement order, there is some necessary follow-up in order to make sure that this expunged record doesn't continue to show up as a public record in private databases.

Posted

It depends on what exactly is coming up on your criminal record. Is it the charge or the conviction? There are different standards under Minnesota law for expungement of convictions, (whether based upon a plea or a conviction by judge/jury, or acquittal/dismissal).

Asker

Posted

I pulled my record an the offense comes up as a charge, it reads Public Nuisance as charge one, then Driving after suspension two. After the Public Nuisance it reads: Public Nuisance - Interfere/Obstruct/Render Dangerous Public/Water, so that looks as if I was acting out in some way but that was not the case I had a broken light. I spoke to someone regarding getting this expunged but they said it may be hard to do because the offense is not that old it from Sept. of 2011. Is there a way I can get it re-written so all that stuff doesnt appear after the Public Nuisance and have it read why I was given the charge of Public Nuisance.

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