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Expunging a First-Offense DWI Conviction in MO
If you have been convicted of a DWI in Missouri, you may be worried that it will follow you for the rest of your life. However, you may be eligible to expunge your first offense conviction. An expungement will clear the conviction from your records, allowing you to break free of your past. Learn more about expunging your first-offense DWI and see if you are eligible.
How to expunge a DWI conviction
Missouri only allows expungement for a first offense DWI conviction. People can only expunge a conviction once, and only some people qualify. Those who need help can hire an attorney.
Criteria for expungement
People must wait a minimum of 10 years before getting a DWI expunged in Missouri. It must be a first offense DWI, and the conviction must have been for a misdemeanor. Expungement is only available when the conviction did not involve a commercial vehicle. Also, the petitioner cannot have any other alcohol-related convictions or pending charges.
The process to get an expungement
Those who qualify must file a petition to expunge the DWI. The Missouri Director of Revenue must be named a party to the petition, and the petition must be filed at the court that convicted the person. Most people must pay a $250 fee when filling the paperwork. However, lower-income individuals might get the fee waived.
The state has 30 days to file an objection to the petition for expungement. If the state does not object, the court will hold a hearing. All hearings for expungement take place within 60 days of the petition. During the hearing, the judge will ask if the petitioner has experienced any additional police contacts or legal trouble regarding driving under the influence. Proof might be required, so many people hire a DWI attorney to represent them.
Length of the process
It can take up to a year to get an expungement approved. Once the process is approved, the petitioner begins enjoying the benefits. Since expungement effectively erases the conviction, people can swear under oath that they have not been convicted of a DWI. Also, people do not have to disclose the conviction on applications for jobs, housing, and more. Those who do get an expungement should avoid getting a second conviction since that cannot be expunged.
Getting help for a DWI conviction
If you have been convicted of a DWI, you might be a good candidate for expungement. The process might be time-consuming, but it is well worth it when you finally get the conviction off your record. Since there is a hearing, it is wise to consult with an attorney before moving forward. Your attorney can help you navigate the process so you can finally be out from under your conviction.
Call us at (417) 865-2181 for more information from Dean Price Law or to schedule a consultation in our office in Springfield.
NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
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