The University of Minnesota recently announced that it will no longer include a question requesting disclosure of prior felony convictions or pending criminal charges on admissions applications. The University implemented the change in hopes that potential students with prior felony convictions would not be discouraged from applying and pursuing higher education.
The move falls in line with the larger “Ban the Box” movement which seeks the removal of questions regarding prior criminal convictions from a variety of applications, namely employment applications. The goal is to allow people to be judged based on who they are as a person in the present day, rather than be overshadowed by one mistake they made years ago.
The decision from the U of M is certainly a step in the right direction, in that it allows citizens to move on from a past indiscretion and better their life through higher education. However, it does not change the fact that college students can be prevented from obtaining federal financial aid based on certain criminal offenses.
Unfortunately, in this day and age even minor blemishes on a person’s criminal record, not to mention felony offenses, can haunt them for years to come. This is just one of many reasons why it is important to consult with a criminal defense attorney if you are charged with a crime so that a skilled professional can fight to keep your record free of a conviction, or negotiate a settlement that minimizes the seriousness of the charge. In those circumstances where a person already has something on their record, even a case that was dismissed, it is worth exploring the possibility of an expungement of those records.
If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, or would like to seek an expungement, call the skilled, dedicated criminal defense lawyers at The Law Office of John J. Leunig at 952-540-6800, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for a free consultation. The lawyers at The Law Office of John J. Leunig provide vigorous, intelligent and personalized representation to people accused of crimes in the State and Federal courts in Minnesota, Wisconsin and nationwide.