Erase Your Record

On January 1, 2018, the Missouri Legislature adopted a revised version of Missouri’s expungement law, which makes a greater number of felony and misdemeanor convictions eligible to be erased from your criminal history. Expungement is a court-ordered process requiring the legal record of an arrest and/or criminal conviction be "sealed" or erased.  Prior to this year, the ability to seal or erase a criminal record of conviction in Missouri was limited to approximately 13 types of offenses.  This newly revised statute has expanded its reach to approximately 1,900 types of offenses, violations, or infractions, allowing courts greater authority to seal a criminal record, erase a criminal conviction, and restore a person’s rights.  

With any law, however, there are limits to its reach and this law is no different in that it prohibits expungement for several remaining offenses, violations, and infractions. The offenses not eligible for expungement include, but are not limited to class A Felonies, dangerous felonies, offenses that require registration as a sex offender, felonies that include death as an element of the offense, felony assaults, misdemeanor or felony domestic assault, felony kidnapping, and a number of other offenses (as listed in Section 610.140.2(6)).

That said, if it has been at least seven years (if the offense was a felony) or three years (if the offense was a misdemeanor, municipal offense, or infraction) from the date you completed a term of probation, sentence, or parole, you may be eligible to seek an order of expungement. To do so, one must file a petition for expungement in the court in which the person was charged or found guilty of the offense(s), violation(s), or infraction(s) he/she seeks to expunge.  If successful, the court shall order each entity possessing records of the arrest and/or conviction to close/seal the record in its possession and restore the rights of the person as if the arrest and/or conviction never occurred. In this regard, the Missouri legislature has just finished widening the road to recovery making a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength and regaining your rights more possible.

In sum:

  1. If you have a felony or misdemeanor conviction in Missouri, your chances to expunge the conviction have greatly increased.
  2. There are limits; not every crime in Missouri can be expunged.
  3. You may be eligible if it has been at least 7 years (for a felony) or 3 years (for a misdemeanor, municipal offense, or infraction) from the completion of your probation or sentence.  
  4. You must file a petition for expungement in the county where the conviction was ordered.
  5. You must comply with all rules of procedure to successfully accomplish the intended goal of closing or sealing records of arrest or conviction.
  6. You must pay a $250.00 application fee.  The statute does allow for a waiver of this fee if a person is certified to be unable to pay. 
  7. If successful, the Court’s order allows you to answer “no” to an employer’s question into whether you have been convicted of a crime.
  8. If successful, any right restricted as a result of a conviction will be restored upon issuance of the court’s order.  

At McBride Law, we seek to reach beyond the practice of law to help our clients chase the day ahead, not run from their past. Our experience has shown that clearing your record and restoring your rights is the last step in leaving mistakes in the past.  If you, or someone you know, would like to speak with an attorney about expunging an arrest or criminal conviction, don’t wait any longer, call McBride Law today.