Can a DWI Be Expunged in Minnesota?


When DWI MN records are expunged, they are sealed by the court. A DWI Minnesota is considered a crime that creates a criminal record in the court system. A criminal record is hard to escape, since it’s disclosed on all types of important documents that are used by employers, lenders and banks, home rental companies, and even colleges. If a criminal record shows up in a background check, it often has a negative impact on a person’s life. Minnesota is one of the states that allows employers to choose not to hire anyone with a criminal record.

On January 1, 2015, a new Minnesota law took effect that makes it easier for people convicted of misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors, low-level felonies, and juvenile delinquency to expunge criminal records. Although this law doesn’t guarantee expungement, it does allow the possibility under certain circumstances. If expungement is allowed, a person may seal their record within two to five years after completing the sentence for their crime.


A person may be eligible for complete expungement of all public records or partial expungement of court records only, depending on the crime. Minnesota law states that a person may be able to expunge a criminal record, including all government-held records, under certain circumstances

  • Convicted of a petty misdemeanor, misdemeanor, or gross misdemeanor, depending on the nature of the crime, the time that has elapsed after completing a sentence, and criminal history.
  • Convicted of drug possession as a first time offender, and the case was handled in accordance with certain laws.
  • Convicted of a juvenile offense that was prosecuted in an adult criminal court.
  • Convicted of other crimes such as certain theft and fraud offenses, contempt, tampering with a fire alarm, and bribing of an official.
  • Found not guilty or the case was dismissed.

If a crime qualifies for expungement, a person must complete a diversion program or stay of adjudication before records are sealed. If convicted of a DWI Minnesota petty misdemeanor or misdemeanor, a person must avoid conviction for another crime for at least two years after completing a sentence. A gross misdemeanor conviction requires at least four years, and a qualifying felony conviction requires five years.

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