The process of helping a client obtain an expungement of criminal records in Minnesota can be broken down into the following three phases:
Preparing the client: First, you will meet with your client to outline your representation and get to know his situation and goals. You will analyze a client’s case and determine what paperwork will need to be gathered prior to creating the petition. Experienced attorneys screen all potential clients, so as a VLN volunteer, you will not be asked to take a case until we have already made the determination that a client has a reasonable basis for requesting expungement.1
Creating the Petition: Next, you must generate the petition to be filed with the court. This is the most involved portion of the process, and the most important. Fortunately for you, as a VLN volunteer you have access to our award-winning2 HotDocs tool, which can generate a petition and all additional materials for you to serve and file. For more details, see below.
Attending the Hearing: Finally, you will attend a hearing with your client. Primarily, the judge will inquire about the circumstances surrounding the offense and the client’s rehabilitative efforts. These hearings tend to be low pressure and brief, lasting only about 10-25 minutes per case. You will present the case, but the judge will likely speak directly to your client as well.
For each of these phases, VLN offers a myriad of support tools. The greatest in the criminal expungement field is our HotDocs tool, and the remainder of this tip will focus on it. Read More>>