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Minnesota Court Records

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Minnesota Arrest Records

Minnesota arrest records are official documents pertaining to the apprehension and detention of persons resident within state limits. They are generated by law enforcement agencies and feature information about the arrested individual, the agency that conducted the arrest, the crimes and charges that led to the arrest, and other pertinent details.

Arrest records contain personal information about the arrested party, such as their name, date of birth, and gender, and arrest-related information, such as the date and location of the arrest. They may also feature bail or bond amounts and court dates. These records are especially relevant to the judiciary and are contained within Minnesota criminal court records. In the North Star State, arrest records are generally considered public records. Hence, they are accessible to interested members of the public.

According to the 2021 Minnesota Uniform Crime Report database, there were 111,478 arrests for criminal offenses in that year. Arrests for assaults were the most frequently recurring, with a total of 16,415 arrests; larceny/theft offenses were the most reported property crime, with a total of 12,287 arrests. DUI arrests were the highest of society crimes reported, with 14,735 arrests. The least arrests, with just a single case each, were recorded for bribery, individual sex offenses, sexual assault with an object, and extortion/ blackmail. The report further showed a 1% increase in the crime index compared to the previous year, 2020. 

Are Arrest Records Public in Minnesota?

Yes. According to the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA), all records handled by government entities in the state shall be made public unless exempted by statute or temporary classification (Section 13.06 of the MGDPA). 

Under this act, interested members of the public have the right to request and access Minnesota arrest records maintained by any law enforcement agency within the state. However, some records are subject to limitations to protect the privacy rights of record subjects and/or to avoid information misuse. Typically, certain arrest records are sealed, made confidential, or have certain portions redacted due to the nature of their content. Such classified records are only accessible to select law enforcement officials and parties authorized by a court order. 

Generally, records that contain the following information are non-public:

  • Identifying juvenile information  
  • Information whose disclosure may jeopardize the credibility of an ongoing investigation or legal proceeding
  • Information that may reveal the identity of a confidential informant
  • Information that may endanger the life of a record's subject
  • Information whose disclosure results in direct violation of an individual's privacy rights. 

What is Included in Minnesota Arrest Records?

Generally, Minnesota arrest records contain information about the arrested individual, the reason for the arrest, and details about the arrest incident. A Minnesota arrest record typically includes the following:

  • Physical description of the arrestee, such as hair color, eye color, height, sex, and race;
  • Identifying information about the arrested individual, mainly their complete name, date of birth, and address;
  • Details about the offense that led to the arrest, such as the offense category and the violated Minnesota law code. It also contains any charges filed against the arrested individual;
  • Arrest details: the arresting agency, the arrest location or site, date, and time of the arrest, and the outcome of the arrest;
  • If the arrested person has been released at the time an arrest record is inspected, the record should contain release details such as the set bail/bond, and the manner, date, and time of release. It may also include parole conditions under which a person was released.
  • Booking details, including the date and time an arrestee was officially booked into custody. 

Find Public Arrest Records in Minnesota

Arrest records are obtainable at the offices of government agencies, such as police departments and sheriff's offices. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) allows public inspection of a person's criminal history records, which usually contain arrest and conviction records. Inquirers may obtain records online, mail, or in person at the office located at:

Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
CHA Unit
1430 Maryland Avenue East
St. Paul, MN 55106.

For online searches, a requester must provide the first name, last name, and date of birth of the record's subject. In-person record checks can be performed for free at a public terminal in the office lobby. The lobby is open Monday through Friday, from 8:15 A.M. to 4 P.M. 

The information in public criminal records is limited. For a full record, a requester must appear at the office with a notarized Informed Consent Form signed by the subject of the record of interest. The office also charges a fee ($8 for record subjects and $15 for third parties) for access to full records. Requests must be written and contain the address of the requester. Response time for record requests is usually within two weeks. For mail requests, the BCA's mailing address is:

Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
CHA Unit
1430 Maryland Avenue East
St. Paul, MN 55106

Alternatively, a requester may obtain an arrest record from the agency that made the arrest. Persons who intend to use this method must first identify the specific agency that made the arrest since local police departments and county sheriffs only maintain records for arrests made within their jurisdictions. Requests made to these offices must contain sufficient information to identify the record of interest. 

Various agencies have specific procedures for record requests and typically outline them on their websites. Where such outlines are unavailable on the website, a requester should contact the agency to determine the applicable procedures and the availability of the record of interest. A requesting party may serve the record custodian with a subpoena for access to classified or non-public records.  

How to Lookup Arrest Records Online in Minnesota

The Minnesota Bureau for Criminal Apprehension provides an online database for looking up all criminal records within the state, including arrest records. Other official online sources include the websites of county sheriffs and local police departments. In addition, many county jails publish inmate rosters on their websites, which may be a valuable source of arrest information. 

Alternatively, various unofficial third-party websites allow inquirers perform name-based searches for arrest records. However, these sources are not affiliated with the government. As such, it is best practice to verify information obtained from such websites against that from official sources for accuracy. Note that unofficial sources usually charge a fee for detailed reports. 

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, arrests stay on a person's record indefinitely unless the record is expunged or sealed or they are granted a pardon. The state of Minnesota establishes no deadline for removing arrests from people's records. The retention period for arrest records varies with agency policies and jurisdictional laws. 

However, there are specific waiting periods that must elapse before a person is eligible to petition for expungement of their arrest record, depending on the crime. Felonies, for example, have a waiting period of 5 years, whereas misdemeanors have a waiting period of 2 to 3 years (depending on the class of misdemeanor).

Expunge an Arrest Record in Minnesota

Expunging an arrest record in Minnesota is a legal process that results in the destruction or sealing of a record from public access. An expunged record may still exist but remain inaccessible to the public. 

Persons who wish to seal or expunge their arrest records must meet specific eligibility requirements. Under Sec. 299 C. 11 MN Statutes, if a person was arrested but never charged with a crime, or if they were released from custody before a criminal complaint was filed against them, there is usually no court record for such arrests. As such, an expungement petition may not be necessary. In such a case, the subject of a record may be able to request that the agency that made the arrest destroy identifying parts (other than DNA samples) of the associated arrest record and have the record sealed. 

Expungement requests must be made in writing to the law enforcement agency that made the arrest and others that may have access to the records. Associated agencies are:

  • The BCA.
  • The local police department.
  • The county sheriff.
  • The county and/or city attorney.

If the arrestee was taken to court or convicted of a crime, an expungement proceeding is necessary to seal such records. Before the petitioning process, the record's subject must meet several eligibility requirements, including the following:

  • They committed a low-level felony, misdemeanor, 5th-degree drug crime, arson, lottery fraud, coercion, and other crimes that are eligible for an expungement
  • There wasn't a felony or gross misdemeanor conviction within ten years before the arrest
  • The prosecuting attorney did not file any charges.
  • All charges were dismissed before the establishment of probable cause.

Petitioners may follow through with the expungement process alone. However, individuals are usually advised to seek the guidance of an experienced legal practitioner for proper guidance. The entire expungement process usually takes an average of 4 to 6 months. A person who meets the eligibility criteria may proceed with the expungement proceeding, which involves the following:

  • They must complete all forms (varying with jurisdiction) required for a record-expungement petition and gather supporting documents, such as affidavits, proof of completion of rehabilitation programs or sentences, and character references.
  • File the petition at a court of competent jurisdiction, usually in the county where the arrest or conviction occurred. The clerk of court should provide filing guidelines and procedures, including any applicable filing fees.
  • The petitioner must then serve a notice of expungement on all involved parties and agencies, giving them the window to object to the expungement if they have reason to do so.
  • The petitioner must then attend the expungement hearing, where the court will grant them the opportunity to present evidence to support the expungement and also examine objections from any opposing parties.
  • The court shall then consider the presented evidence and arguments, as well as other factors such as the petitioner's criminal history, the nature of the offense, and the interests of justice, and then decide to either grant or deny the expungement.
  • If the court grants the expungement, it will issue an order demanding the expungement of the arrest record. If the court denies the expungement, a petitioner may be able to appeal the decision, depending on the circumstances.

How Do I Find Recent Arrests in Minnesota?

Interested persons can find records related to recent arrests by contacting the local police department or sheriff's office. Usually, the agency that conducted an arrest has the most recent arrest reports. These agencies also maintain publicly available online arrest logs on their websites, which they maintain regularly. The update interval varies with different agencies but is mostly hourly or daily. 

For an in-person inspection, interested parties may visit the agency responsible for an arrest. In many jurisdictions, local police departments and county sheriffs work in tandem and share information, making it possible that one can facilitate a search of the other's records remotely.

Are Minnesota Arrest Records Free?

The Minnesota Data Practices Act mandates free access to state public records, including arrest records. Regardless, agencies reserve the right to charge a reasonable fee if a person seeks to obtain hard copies of a record. Interested persons can also view arrest records for free on public terminals in the lobby of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension office. 

Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
CHA Unit
1430 Maryland Avenue East
St. Paul, MN 55106.

Meanwhile, third-party resources also offer free access to basic arrest information. However, searchers may need to pay a fee for a detailed record or report. Fees also vary with information service providers. Using these websites typically involves entering the allowed search parameters in the appropriate fields, usually the first and last name of a record's subject and their date of birth. 

While these free resources may be convenient, there is no guarantee of the accuracy or completeness of the information obtained. As such, searchers may not use records from third-party sources for official purposes like background checks for employment or tenant screening.

Minnesota Arrest Records
  • Criminal Records
  • Arrests Records
  • Warrants
  • Driving Violations
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  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanors
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  • And More!