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Minnesota Criminal Records

Minnesota criminal records refer to an individual’s complete criminal history from local to state law enforcement agencies. Under the Minnesota Public Records Act, criminal records are public, and anyone can request access to them unless marked as confidential by the court. Criminal records usually contain the following information:

Individual’s first and last name, including any alias

  • Date of birth
  • Physical descriptors
  • Crime summary
  • Convictions
  • Warrants
  • Arrest details


What Are the Types of Crimes in Minnesota?

Crimes in Minnesota are generally divided into two categories: misdemeanors and felonies. 

Instead of classes such as Class A misdemeanors or felonies, etc, the state classifies crimes according to the jail sentence or punishment. For example, misdemeanors have a jail sentence of under a year, whereas felonies are punishable by more than a year of imprisonment in state prisons. 



Misdemeanors in Minnesota are classified into three more categories: petty misdemeanors, misdemeanors, and gross misdemeanors. 

Petty misdemeanors are fine-only offenses without any jail time, including minor traffic infractions like speeding or possessing a small amount of marijuana. The maximum fine for petty misdemeanors is $300. 

Misdemeanors are more serious, with jail time of up to 90 days and a maximum fine of $1,000. Some of the most common examples of this type of crime are disorderly conduct, vandalism, public intoxication, reckless driving, or getting a DWI conviction for the first time. 

Gross misdemeanors are the most severe type involving jail time for up to 12 months and a maximum fine of $3,000. The following constitutes as a gross misdemeanor in Minnesota:

  • Repeat violations
  • Theft of over $500 to $1,000
  • Public prostitution
  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
  • Possession of marijuana
  • Fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct or nonconsensual sexual penetration
  • Interfering with 911 calls



There are some cases when a gross misdemeanor or prior misdemeanor becomes a felony in Minnesota criminal records. This usually applies when someone has repeated domestic violence offenses, including harassment, violating a restraining order, or domestic assault. 

The maximum penalty for felonies by default is a five (5) year prison sentence except for the following:

  • Life sentence applies for first-degree murder 
  • A $40,000 fine and a maximum of 30 years of imprisonment apply for a first-degree criminal sexual conduct, like sexually assaulting a minor or forceful sexual assault. 
  • A $20,000 fine and a maximum of 10 years of imprisonment apply for second-degree manslaughter.
  • A $10,000 fine and a maximum of five (5) years imprisonment apply to third-degree burglary.
  • A $3,000 fine and a maximum imprisonment of one (1) year and one (1) day apply to criminal damage to property amounting to $500 up to $1,000. 


How Does Probation Work in Minnesota?

Probation in Minnesota may include community service, monetary fines, house arrest, counseling, and attending anger management sessions. 

The probation period for most misdemeanors is one year and two years for gross misdemeanors. However, the probation period can increase for two up to six years for the following cases:

  • Misdemeanor DWI
  • Interference with privacy
  • Domestic assault
  • Indecent exposure
  • Obscene phone class
  • Criminal vehicular operation
  • Fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct

The probation for felonies are at a minimum of four years.


How Does Parole Work in Minnesota?

Parole in Minnesota criminal records means that an inmate has finished two-thirds of their prison sentence and will be on supervised release for the remaining duration of their sentence. 

Unlike other states, Minnesota has no parole board and instead uses determinate sentencing where incarcerated inmates have to serve two-thirds of their sentence on a minimum. 

Certain offenses like criminal sexual conduct and DWIs undergo conditional release which is longer than supervised release due to the nature of the crime. 


How Does Expungement Work in Minnesota?

Those with a criminal record can qualify for expungement after their cases are discharged. The wait times for stays of adjudication and cases involving a plea is one year, two years for petty misdemeanors and misdemeanors, and four years for gross misdemeanors. For eligible felonies, five years is the minimum wait time after discharge. 

However, the following felonies do not qualify for statutory expungement even after five years:

  • Felony assault
  • Felony domestic assault
  • Felony DWI
  • Felony burglary
  • Felony criminal sexual conduct
  • Felony terroristic threats
  • Felony 1st-4th degree drug offenses
  • Felony offenses requiring registration

To expunge a criminal record in Minnesota, one has to file a Petition for Expungement and pay the $300 filing fee. The process is somewhat lengthy and can take between four to six months to process. 


How To Obtain a Criminal Record in Minnesota?

Individuals can request a hard copy of their Minnesota criminal records via mail or in person by visiting the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). 

To request a criminal record via mail, individuals must provide the following:

  • Full name with correct spelling, including any other names like a maiden or married name
  • Date of birth
  • Signed and dated request notarized by a notary public
  • Enclosed $15.00 money order, personal check, cashier’s check, or a business check payable to the BCA

Envelopes must be stamped with a self-address. The standard response time for requests via mail is two weeks.  

For easier access, the public can access their own or someone else’s criminal record online by providing a first and last name and date of birth. Criminal history records may also be available via third-party websites, but information may vary.

Counties in Minnesota

Police Departments and Sheriffe Office in Minnesota

Hennepin County Sheriff's Office350 South Fifth Street, Minneapolis, MN
Ramsey County Sheriff's Office425 Grove St, St Paul, MN
Dakota County Sheriff's Office1590 Highway 55, Hastings, MN
Anoka County Sheriff's Office13301 Hanson Boulevard NW, Andover, MN
Washington County Sheriff's Office15015 62nd St N, Stillwater, MN
Stearns County Sheriff's Office807 Courthouse Square, St. Cloud, MN
Olmsted County Sheriff's Office151 4th St SE, Rochester, MN
Scott County Sheriff's Office301 Fuller Street South, Shakopee, MN
Wright County Sheriff's Office3800 Braddock Ave NE, Buffalo, MN
Carver County Sheriff's Office606 E Fourth Street, Chaska, MN