A domestic assault charge is serious and may affect your job and housing opportunities. But, does such a charge stay on your record forever? Read on to find out.
Domestic Assault Charges in Minnesota
Minnesota Statute § 609.2242 states that you may be charged with domestic assault if you inflict or attempt to inflict bodily harm upon a member of your family or household.
Often, a first-time domestic assault charge is a misdemeanor offense and is punishable by up to one year in jail. However, subsequent violations within a span of 10 years could push the charge to a gross misdemeanor or a felony, which carry harsher penalties.
The potential consequences of a domestic assault conviction in Minnesota include:
- Extensive incarceration, fines, and restitution
- Deportation from the U.S. if you are not a citizen
- Loss of professional license(s) or disqualification to hold certain jobs
- Loss of your right to own and/or carry firearms
- Negative impact on reputation and volunteer opportunities
- Negative impact on employment and housing opportunities
Does a Domestic Assault Conviction Stay on Your Record Forever?
Some crimes can be removed from your record. This is known as “expungement.” Certain crimes may be eligible for expungement. Domestic assault, in particular, may be expunged from your record if certain qualifications are met. The factors that determine whether a domestic assault conviction can be expunged include:
- The state in which you live. Different states have different laws when it comes to expungement. In Minnesota, the expungement process takes five to six months, in general, and eligibility may depend on the nature and severity of the crime.
- The severity of the crime committed. In Minnesota, only certain felony-level offenses are eligible to be fully expunged. Additionally, courts take into account the nature of severity of the underlying charge when determining if it will grant the expungement petition.
- Your prior criminal record. Those with a criminal record before the domestic assault conviction—particularly, violent crimes, may face an uphill battle to convince the court to expunge their conviction.
What Does the Expungement Process Look Like?
Most convictions remain on your record forever. However, the expungement process may give you the second chance you deserve. By petitioning to have your records sealed, you may be able to keep previous convictions hidden from public view. This can allow you to pursue job or housing opportunities you would have previously been denied.
When determining whether to expunge a conviction, the court will look at:
- The type and severity of the crime
- Whether you pose a risk to public safety
- How much time has elapsed since the crime
- What forms of rehabilitation you sought after the crime
- Your motivation for pursuing expungement
- Input from the victim of the crime, if possible
- Attempts you made to pay restitution for the crime
Many times the burden of proof is on the petitioner to establish that the benefit to them having the record sealed is equal or greater to the disadvantage to the state having to seal the record and not have it available for public safety reasons.
Charged with Domestic Assault? We’re Here to Help
If you have been charged with or convicted of domestic assault, it may feel like your life is over. However, with the right legal team on your side, you may be able to get a domestic assault charge dismissed or a conviction expunged.
Our experienced defense attorneys at Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. have the skills and resources needed to help you start over. We have protected the futures of countless clients across the state, and we’re here to help you through this difficult time, too.
Call Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. at (612) 444-5020 to schedule a free case evaluation.