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Expungements

In Missouri, individuals can now begin petitioning courts to expunge old criminal convictions under a Missouri expungement bill (SB 588) that was signed by Governor Jay Nixon on July 13, 2016. The new Missouri expungement statute went into effect on January 1, 2018.

We can help you through this process.

There are some important things you need to know:

Not all crimes in Missouri are expungable and, there is a set period of time an individual must wait before he or she can seek an expungement.   The statute implies that you must wait seven (7) years for a felony and three (3) years for a misdemeanor.  Its best to discuss this with an attorney knowledgeable in expungements before incurring the filing fee.

The petition must be filed in the court where you were charged or found guilty of any offenses, violations, or infractions and must name every entity (courts, law enforcement, prosecuting attorneys, criminal records repositories, etc.) that you believe may possess the records for each item you are seeking to have expunged.

The State has 30 days to file objections to your petition and a court must hold a hearing within 60 days following the objection or 30 days after filing if no objection.

There is a $250 filing fee associated with filing the Petition.

If you are successful, you will be allowed to maintain that you have never been convicted of the crime(s) that were expunged.  It is very important that you maintain a copy of the Order expunging your records.

Missouri-Expungement – Senate Bill 588

Senate Bill 588 now makes expungement in Missouri available for many with an old criminal conviction.

The particulars of the new Missouri expungement law include:

  1. Petitions for expungement may be filed in any Missouri court in which such person was charged or found guilty.
  2. Petitioners must list all offenses that he or she is seeking to have expunged.
  3. Convictions that cannot be expunged are (i) Class A felony offenses; (ii) dangerous felonies as defined in section 556.061 of Missouri statutes; (iii) any offense that requires registration as a sex offender; (iii) any felony where death is an element of the offense; any felony offense of assault; (iiii) any misdemeanor or felony of domestic assault; (iiiii) or felony offense of kidnapping and a number of other offenses that fall broadly under the category of crimes against persons.
  4. Also excluded from expungement are intoxication-related offenses. First time DWI offenders can still seek expungement in Missouri after 10 years without additional alcohol-related convictions under section 577.054.
  5. Violation of laws regulating operation of a motor vehicle by an individual who holds a commercial driver’s license cannot be expunged.
  6. Although it doesn’t appear that that there is a time period requirement that must pass before applying, a court “may consider” if seven years have passed in felony cases or three years in misdemeanor cases. Lack of subsequent criminal record, payment of restitution from past convictions and “the petitioner’s habits and conduct” showing that he or she is not a threat to society may also be considered.
  7. The clerk of the court must give notice to the prosecuting attorney, circuit attorney or municipal court prosecuting of the appropriate court when a petition for expungement in Missouri has been filed. Once notified, the prosecuting authority has thirty days to object to the expungement.
  8. Expungement of arrest records cannot occur sooner than three years after an arrest.
  9. Once an order of expungement is entered the underlying court file must be closed.
  10. A person who has been granted an order of expungement may, with regard to the expunged conviction, answer “no” to an employer inquiry as to whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime unless the employer is required to exclude certain people with criminal convictions from employment. If a law mandates the employer to not hire convicted offenders the applicant must answer that they have been convicted of a crime.
  11. A Missouri expungement filing fee of $250.00 must accompany a petition to expunge unless the applicant is certified to be a poor person.

If you aren’t located in mid-Missouri, we know a few firms that handle these matters in other parts of the state.  In Springfield, contact:  Carver Cantin at https://carvercantin.com/

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    Columbia, Missouri 65201
    Phone: 573-874-4190
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