Minnesota Juvenile Record Expungement

Why Expunge A Juvenile Record

Juvenile records are accessible and even publicly available, depending on the nature of the offense and the age of the offender. Even though juvenile delinquency adjudications are not considered "crimes", these records can be used to deny employment or housing to adults that were adjudicated delinquent as minors. Additionally, juvenile records can be used to disqualify individuals from employment that requires a background study through the Department of Human Services. Importantly, even non-adjudication records can be used to disqualify individuals from employment in facilities licensed by the Department of Human Services. To learn more about how DHS uses its records and the background study process, click here.

Expungement of Juvenile Records and Minnesota's Second Chance Law

As of January 1, 2015, Minnesota's Second Chance Law allows for expungement of both judicial and executive branch records at any time. The Court must determine that the benefit an expungement would yield to you outweighs the detriment to the public and public safety in sealing the record and burden on the court and public agencies in issuing, enforcing, and monitoring the order. In making its decision, the Court must consider eight separate factors that take into account the severity of the offense, as well as evidence of your rehabilitation.

Prior to the new Second Chance law, the juvenile expungement statute was very difficult for Minnesota Courts to interpret and apply. In a landmark case before the Minnesota Supreme Court, Arneson & Geffen represented a petitioner seeking expungement of his juvenile record. The Supreme Court was constrained by the strict wording in the statute and ruled that Courts only had the authority to seal "Orders Adjudicating Delinquency," leaving the rest of the record accessible. The State Legislature dealt with the issue as quickly as it could, and rewrote the juvenile expungement law so that Courts could grant a complete remedy to deserving individuals. Notably, the petitioner we represented has now obtained full expungement of his juvenile record under the second chance law. Arneson & Geffen is proud to have helped bring about a positive resolution to this legal issue. We are excited that the change in the law will give people the second chance they deserve.

Juvenile Expungement Is Now An Effective And Meaningful Remedy

The Court has wide discretion to grant expungement of juvenile records. The second chance law does not require any waiting periods for requesting expungement of juvenile records and does not limit the type of juvenile offense that can be expunged.

People that obtain expungement of their juvenile record can now have their records sealed at the following agencies:

  • The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension ("BCA")
  • Minnesota Department of Human Services ("DHS")
  • Minnesota Department of Health
  • Police Departments
  • Sheriffs' Offices
  • City and County Attorneys' Offices
  • Board of Teaching

Why Is It Helpful To Seal Records At Executive Branch Agencies?

Many employers and landlords obtain records through the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension ("BCA") when investigating an individual's criminal background. Some juvenile records may be available to some or all employers. Additionally, the Department of Human Services is specifically authorized to obtain juvenile records in connection with background studies. To learn more about how DHS uses its records and the background study process, click here.

Learning About A Juvenile Record

Some juvenile records are publicly available. For example, a felony delinquency adjudication for a sixteen or seventeen year old individual will be available on the Court's website here. Other delinquency matters will require a signed affidavit and a Court Order or a visit to the Courthouse. Contact the County Courthouse to learn about how to obtain a juvenile record. These records, while not available to the public, can be obtained by agencies. For example, the Department of Human Services has access to juvenile records and can use juvenile records to disqualify individuals from working in licensed facilities or homes.

Learn about accessing Hennepin County Juvenile records by clicking here. Learn about accessing Ramsey County Juvenile records by clicking here. Alternatively, contact an attorney at Arneson & Geffen to learn more about accessing juvenile records.

Additionally, the BCA retains some juvenile delinquency records. A "private criminal history" from the BCA may show juvenile delinquency matters. Read more about a BCA record search here.

Case Results

Arneson & Geffen has significant experience representing individuals seeking expungement of both adult and juvenile records. To read about some of our recent successes, click here.

Can The Second Chance Law Help You Expunge Your Juvenile Record?

The attorneys at Arneson & Geffen can help you determine whether you qualify for relief under the juvenile record portion of the Second Chance law. Contact us today!