A criminal conviction may have lasting effects on a person’s life. For example, employers routinely conduct background checks before hiring a qualified candidate. Additionally, landlords typically check a potential tenant’s criminal record before offering a lease agreement. A criminal conviction could prevent someone from securing employment or housing—even if the conviction is several years old.

That is no longer a concern for our Minnesota client. Over a decade ago, the court convicted our client of domestic assault. In our petition to the court, we argued he qualified for expungement based on his successful completed probation and his subsequent clean criminal record.

In most cases, courts take these matters “under advisement.” That means the judge concludes the hearing and thinks about it for several weeks before making a decision. That was not the case here. The court did not take my client’s case under advisement. Instead, the judge agreed with our analysis and granted our client’s expungement request on the spot.