Your criminal records are kept at the courts, the BCA, and other law enforcement agencies like the local police department. They are sometimes also collected and kept by private companies.
How to find them:
The court’s website lets you search by a person’s name for cases that ended with convictions. This database that can be accessed this way is sometimes called “Remote Access MNCIS” or the Minnesota Court Information System. To access it, go to: http://pa.courts.state.mn.us.
The Remote Access MNCIS database lets you access a document called a “Register of Actions” which gives an overview of everything that happened with your case in court.
When you search by a person’s name, the Remote Access MNCIS database doesn’t show any pending criminal records or cases that were dismissed. This is because these are records that do not have a conviction. It also does not show arrest history for arrests that did not result in court action.
Note: you can find non-conviction case records on Remote Access MNCIS too, but they are not listed by name, you have to know the case number.
A full search, that includes dismissed and pending cases, can be done at "Courthouse Access MNCIS" terminals at any courthouse in Minnesota. Go to a courthouse and ask a court clerk to print your list of criminal cases. Most courthouses charge a printing fee of $8.00 to $10.00. You do not need to print each record, ask the clerk for the CASE RECORDS SEARCH RESULTS PAGE. This lists all of your cases and case numbers. You could also take a photo of the results page on the computer and not pay a printing fee.
The BCA’s website https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/bca/ has records of cases that resulted in a conviction and for which your sentenced was discharged within the last 15 years. To get a full copy of your BCA record, including information about arrests that did not lead to a conviction, you have to make a request in person or by mail. (see below)
Your records with private companies may be available online depending on the company. You need to check with them.
If you are looking for a record of a case from another state, contact the court where the case happened.
The Neighborhood Justice Center (Ramsey County)
Go to: www.njcinc.org or call 651-222-4703.
The Indian Legal Assistance Program (for St. Louis, Carlton, Lake, Cook, Aitkin, Mille Lacs, Pine, Crow Wing and Morrison counties)
Go to: http://ilap-duluth.com or call 218-727-2881.
The Regional Native Public Defense Corporation (If you are a member of the White Earth or Leech Lake Reservations and live in Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Hubbard, Itasca, and Mahnomen counties)
Go to: https://www.nativedefense.org/ or call 218-339-5680.
There are companies that make money by spreading criminal records information online. These are also sometimes called “aggregators.” Each aggregator is a little different in how they handle removing your personal information. If you find records online that are wrong, contact the aggregator directly.
Sometimes. It’s called Expungement. Expungement is when you go to court to ask a judge to seal a court record. Getting an expungement can be helpful if you have trouble getting a job, finding housing, or getting a professional license because of your criminal background.
An expunged record is NOT destroyed. The police, FBI, immigration officers, and other public officials can still see sealed court files for certain reasons.