Waiting Period for Expungement

In 2000, Appellant was convicted of misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor harassment restraining order (“HRO”) violations.  In 2002, he was convicted of 3rd degree DWI.  He filed petitions to expunge the HRO convictions in 2015.  The statute says a petition is allowed if the petitioner was convicted of a petty misdemeanor or misdemeanor and has not been convicted of a new crime for at least two years since discharge of the sentence, or convicted of a gross misdemeanor and not convicted of a new crime for at least four years since discharge of the sentence.  The question is whether the waiting periods are only from the discharge date to the end of the two/four years, or if they are the two/four-year period before the filing of the petition?

The two and four-year conviction-free period must occur any time between the date the sentence is discharged and the date the expungement petition is filed.  Without deciding whether appellant’s petitions should have been granted, the court of appeals concludes that the district court is permitted to consider the petitions, because appellant had no convictions in the two years preceding his misdemeanor HRO expungement petition, and no convictions in the four years preceding his gross misdemeanor HRO expungement petition.  State v. C.W.N., ___ N.W.2d ___, A17-0728, A17-0729, 2018 WL 256738 (Minn. Ct. App. 1/2/2018).