Due to the signing of a law in 2016, that came into effect on January 2018, the arrest and conviction records available for expungement (closure) increased. Once your record is expunged, you no longer must state that you were convicted of a crime.
Expungements are available for many misdemeanors and felonies. Though you don’t have to state your crime to anybody, if your arrest and/or conviction record is closed, it will still be available to the courts, law enforcement agencies and certain employers. If convicted of a felony, you must wait seven years to apply for expungement and three years for a misdemeanor conviction. Also, you can expunge only one felony record and two misdemeanor offenses in a lifetime.
There are some crimes that Missouri prohibits form expungement.
- Class A violent felonies
- Dangerous felonies
- Any offense that requires the convicted to register as a sex offender
- Domestic assault
- Driving while intoxicated
If your arrest was subject to false information and meets the following criteria, you can have your arrest record erased as well.
- There was no probable cause linking you to the crime
- You weren’t charged
- You arrest record is clean other than the disputed arrest
- You didn’t receive a sentence or suspended imposition
- No civil legal action is being pursued due to the arrest or record you want to expunge
Arrest records for misdemeanor motor vehicle offenses can also be expunged unless you meet any of the following criteria.
- You were driving under the influence
- You hold a commercial driver’s license and were driving a commercial vehicle when you were arrested
- You have another conviction on your record
- Civil legal action is pending related to your arrest or criminal record you are seeking to expunge.
A criminal defense lawyer with knowledge of the inner-workings of Missouri criminal law can be a great resource to anyone seeking expungement and representation.