Missouri Arrest and Conviction Records — Questions About Expungement

expungement Springfield, MO

An existing criminal record can create all sorts of annoyances, ranging from feelings of shame to outright discrimination. Fortunately, in the state of Missouri, a solution may be available: expungement. Expungement is the process in which someone can either limit access to their criminal records or have them physically destroyed. It is also sometimes known as closure. Once your criminal record has been expunged, you are no longer obligated to disclose your arrest or conviction history.

When was the latest update on expungement in Missouri? 

On January 1, 2018, a new Missouri expungement law went into effect. While this law expanded the range of crimes eligible for expungement, it also added approximately 90 crimes that are now considered ineligible for expungement.

What is the necessary procedure for filing an expungement? 

For a felony, seven years must pass without incident to apply for expungement. Misdemeanors and arrest records require three years to pass. Any necessary forms to petition for expungement can be found on the Missouri judicial court system's website. However, the petitioner must file in the Circuit Court of the county of the arrest. Additionally, petitioners should note that court clerks cannot assist in completing these forms.

All relevant parties must be named and served once the petition has been filed. The court will then consider various forms of evidence to determine whether to expunge the petitioner's record. The final decision is entirely at the court's discretion, meaning they may consider testimony, evidence of good character, restitution payments, and more. It is also critical to note that the court is not obligated to accept any pieces of evidence or testimony.

Who is ineligible for expungement? 

Many crimes are unable to be expunged, including any offense that required registration as a sex offender, Class A felonies, kidnapping, et cetera. The recent 2018 state law also made forgery, mortgage fraud, traffic convictions of a commercial driver's license, and offenses regarding elections ineligible for expungement. The full details of the law are lengthy and complicated. A Missouri expungement lawyer can help determine whether one's crimes are eligible for expungement.

What happens after filing an expungement petition?

Once an expungement petition has been filed, all named and served parties have 30 days to file an objection. If such parties choose to file an objection, the court must hold a hearing within 60 days. If no objections are filed, the court will hold a hearing within 30 days.

What happens after an expungement petition is granted?

Once an expungement petition has been granted, the petitioner is no longer legally obligated to state that they have been convicted of a crime.

A criminal history can hold you back long after you have learned from your mistakes — or were wrongfully convicted. A Missouri expungement lawyer can help maximize your chances of expungement and pave the way for a better future. 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 blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

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