Want a DWI off Your Record? Here’s What You Need to Know

A hand signs an employment application with a Sharpie.The experience of being pulled over on the suspicion of driving drunk can be scary enough, but one of the most worrisome results of the whole debacle is the idea that it’ll be on your record for many years to come. So if you’re applying for a new job or even an apartment – how will a DWI conviction affect you, and will it disappear from your record after a certain amount of time? Get a DWI off your record in Minnesota by learning about the following:

Minnesota has “Banned the Box”

Since 2014, Minnesota has participated in Ban the Box, an initiative where employers are barred from asking applicants about their criminal histories on initial applications. This gives applicants with criminal charges (of which a DWI is considered one) in their backgrounds a chance to present their qualifications first and foremost before the employer learns of what’s in their records.

You may be able to get the record expunged

How long does a DWI stay on your record in Minnesota? That depends. In 2015, Minnesota made it easier to have records expunged – and this law is particularly helpful to people with misdemeanors and even some with felonies. Under it, those charged are able to petition a judge to have their criminal records sealed two to five years after they’ve served time (or the period after which their case has concluded). Under the new MN expungement laws, completed time can include that of which is served in prison, on parole, or via probation.

In cases where expungement is granted, the sealed conviction cannot be viewed when a background check is conducted except by law enforcement authorities. So if you’re applying for a job, a loan, apartment, or something else, your DWI will not affect your ability to obtain what you’re seeking.

To seek expungement, you’ll likely need to attend a court hearing. During this time, you will need to explain to the judge why you believe you deserve expungement. The state does have the right to deny your request before or during the expungement request – but this does not necessarily mean your request with ultimately be rejected.

Once the hearing has concluded, there will then be a waiting process in which the judge will send you notice as to whether or not your expungement has been granted. If it does become approved, there will be a 60-day waiting period until it is sealed.

You can learn more about the criminal expungement process for Minnesota by visiting MNCourts.gov.

Having a DWI on your record can be discouraging, but it is possible to move on with your life — even in instances when you’re unable to get the record expunged. To receive help fighting a DWI — or at the very least, getting it expunged, contact the law offices of Joel Heiligman today.