2016 MO LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: The Missouri Legislature passed a new expungement bill in 2016 that will have several positive changes for Missourians. This new bill will become law once signed by the governor, and is set to go into effect January 1, 2018. This page details the current expungement law, and will be updated soon to show coming changes to the law.
In addition to consequences such as jail, probation, or fines, a criminal conviction can have a lifelong impact. A criminal record can negatively impact employment, housing, licensure, and can enhance penalties if you are charged with another crime. At the Bukowsky Law Firm, we fight to keep our clients records clean, and when they are already tarnished, we fight for a clean slate and a fresh start. In Missouri, there are a select few offenses that are expungeable, but more avenues for expunging additional offenses will become available in the future.
What Is An Expungement?
When a conviction is expunged, that conviction is permanently removed from that person’s criminal record. The record is destroyed (with one exception, see below), and cannot be used against you in any setting.
What Charges Can Be Expunged?
DWI Expungement – A first time (Class B misdemeanor) DWI can be expunged in the State of Missouri and municipal courts after a period of ten years if you do not have a conviction for a second “alcohol related driving offense.”
BAC Expungement – A first time (Class B misdemeanor) Driving With an Excessive Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) can be expunged in the State of Missouri and municipal courts after a period of ten years if you do not have a conviction for a second “alcohol related driving offense.”
MIP Expungement – A first time Minor in Possession (MIP) can be expunged in the State of Missouri and some municipal courts after you turn 22 years old if you do not have a second conviction for an alcohol-related offense or “alcohol related enforcement contacts.”
Other Expungable Offenses – The following offenses are expungable after ten or twenty years, depending on if it is a felony or misdemeanor offense:
- Passing a bad check (570.120)
- Fraudulent use of a credit device or debit device (570.130)
- Fraudulently stopping payment of an instrument (570.125)
- Negligent burning or exploding (569.065)
- Negligently setting fire to a woodland, cropland, grassland,prairie, or marsh (569.067)
- Tampering in the second degree (569.090)
- Property Damage in the second degree (569.120.1)
- Trespass in the first degree (569.140.1)
- Gambling (572.020.1)
- Private peace disturbance (574.020.1)
- Drunkenness or drinking in a prohibited place (574.075.1)
- Peace disturbance (574.010)
- Fraudulent us of a credit device or debit device (570.130)
- For these offenses, you are only eligible for an expungement if you have not
- been found guilty of any subsequent offenses (excluding minor traffic
- violations), have paid all restitution, and your circumstances and behavior
- warrant the expungement and the expungement is consistent with the
- public welfare.
I Finished Probation Under A Suspended Imposition of Sentence (SIS), Why Should I Get An Expungement?
If you successfully completed probation and the judge suspended the imposition of sentence (SIS), then the case is a closed record, and you were not convicted of the offense. However, the record still exists and is accessible to many different people, such as government employers and professional licensing boards (State Board of Nursing, Board of Law Examiners, Healing Arts, Board of Cosmetology, Board Pharmacy, and many more). In addition, some employers or agencies will ask you, “have you ever pleaded guilty to or been found guilty of a crime?” If the criminal record has not been expunged, the honest answer to that question is “yes,” even if you had a suspended imposition of sentence (SIS).
How Do I Expunge a Conviction, Plea, or Criminal Record?
You must file a Petition for Expungement in the sentencing court, and go before a judge, who determines whether or not you meet the criteria for expungement. Contact the Bukowsky Law Firm today for more information on how we can help expunge your criminal record!