How to Expunge a Drug Charge in Minnesota

In order to expunge a case for possession of a controlled substance in Minnesota, you must have completed a deferred persecution program pursuant to Minnesota Statue section 152.18. If you have been discharged and proceedings for your case have been dismissed, you may be eligible to expunge your drug conviction. Once your drug conviction is expunged, the arrest and court records for the drug conviction will be sealed so that no one can view your records.

Before investing your time and resources into petitioning to expunge your Minnesota drug conviction, you must first determine whether or not you are eligible to have your drug conviction expunged. You can also take a free expungement eligibility test through There are three circumstances in which you can petition to expunge your Minnesota drug charge:

  1. If your case was dismissed under section 152.18(1) for a violation of possession of a controlled substance under section 152.024, 152.025, or 152.027(i).
  2. If the case was resolved in your favor, meaning that the case against you was dismissed, or you completed a diversion program without first entering a plea of guilty (ii).
  3. For any other case, the court has the inherent authority to expunge the case if the court finds that the benefit to the person does not commensurate with the disadvantage to the public by not having the record public (iii).
    1. Once your drug charge is expunged, if your drug offense resulted in a non-conviction, the courts will release an order requiring that records pertaining to the case be entirely sealed from the public, including court records and records held by other state agencies such as the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. If, however, you expunge a drug charge that resulted in a conviction, generally only the court records of your drug charge will be sealed while other criminal justice agencies will still maintain a record of your drug charge. Regardless of whether your case resulted in a non-conviction or a conviction, expunging your drug charge will prevent your offense from being held against you in the future except for under very limited circumstances. Your drug charge may only be reopened in the event that there is a subsequent criminal investigation or prosecution against you, or if you apply for a position as an employee with a criminal justice agency.

      Read more articles on Minnesota record expungement.

      i. 609A.02(1)
      ii. 609A.02(2)
      iii. (State v. Schultz, 676 N.W.2d 337)