Expungement is when a criminal charge can be removed from someone’s criminal record. It is sealed so that it is not accessible by any other member of the public. The intention is that people who have made mistakes can move on with their lives and not be burdened when trying to travel, gain employment, or find a place to live.
In Minnesota, there are several things to consider when figuring out the burden of proof. For example, if the petitioner applies for an expungement because they have completed a court-ordered diversion program, or a stay of adjudication, then the state has to show with evidence that an expungement would not be in the interest of the public. They must show that keeping the records open is more important for the public than having them sealed is for the petitioner. If the petitioner is trying to expunge a conviction, then they are the party who must prove that their need to have the records sealed is more important than the public’s right to prevent them.
Burden Of Proof For The State
Criminal records are used by the state for several purposes. They use them to suggest sentencing in the future and to help finding suspects. If someone’s charges were dismissed, they were acquitted, or they have completed whatever diversion program they were assigned, then they have to prove the benefit to the public of keeping things sealed. This burden of proof is considered lighter than the petitioner’s when they have the burden of proof.
Burden Of Proof For the Petitioner
If there is a conviction in the case that is up for expungement, then the petitioner is the one with the burden of proof. They must prove with convincing evidence that the public will not be harmed by the record being sealed. It can be hard to meet this burden, because the state has many options from which to choose for reasons to keep the record open. There is no advantage to the state for them to allow the expungement to proceed uncontested, so they will certainly fight the petition.
As mentioned, it can be a challenge to meet the burden of proof as the petitioner. That is why it is vital that you find legal representation to help with your petition for expungement. The better lawyer you have, the better chance you have of moving on with your life.
If you’re in need of a Criminal Defense attorney who will get the results you need, contact the Law Offices of Mark Herman. Reach out online or call 612-382-4545 for a free consultation.