A new Missouri law will increase the opportunity for people to expunge old arrests, guilty pleas or convictions from public records beginning on January 1, 2018. Expungement is the term for the process of having old criminal records removed from certain public records after a required length of time.
The new law will greatly increase the types of misdemeanors and felonies eligible for expungement in Missouri. Under the new expungement law, Misdemeanors can be expunged three years after running afoul of the law and felonies can be expunged seven years after violating the law. A misdemeanor can only be expunged twice in one’s lifetime, while felonies can only be expunged once.
Before the passage of this new expungement law, Missouri had one of the most difficult expungement laws in the country. Only a few types of felonies and misdemeanors could be expunged from criminal records, and the waiting time to do so was 10 years for a misdemeanor and 20 years for a felony. Most types of offense didn’t qualify under the old law.
Missouri Expungement Process
The process to seek an expungement after January 1, 2018 will involve filing an expungement petition and paying a $250.00 filing fee. This petition must be filed in the court where the applicant was arrested, charged or found guilty of a misdemeanor or felony.
The applicant will have their fingerprints taken and submitted to the Court, and Prosecutors will have 30 days in which to file an objection to the expungement if they choose. The court will hold a hearing to determine if the required length of time (3 years for misdemeanors and 7 years for felonies) has passed since the applicant ran afoul of the law. Standard traffic tickets don’t count as law violations that affect the running of the 3 year or 7 year clock.
The court will determine if the applicant has paid their fines for the crime that is being considered for expungement. If the court determines that the applicant qualifies for expungement, they will issue an order requiring the records of the conviction, under consideration for expungement, to be closed.
Felonies and Misdemeanors Ineligible for Expungement
Many types of felony will not be eligible for expungement under the new law including Class A felonies, dangerous felonies, sex offenses, assaults, and kidnappings. Some misdemeanors, including domestic violence charges, will not qualify for expungement. Many types of non-violent felonies and misdemeanors, including old marijuana convictions will qualify for expungement.
Call Day or Night for a Missouri Expungement Attorney
There are many reasons Missourians who qualify will want to look into the new expungement law. Having old criminal convictions removed from public records can help people to seek housing, loans, employment, insurance, licensing, firearm rights, adoptions, and peace of mind for those who have paid their debts to society. If you have any questions about the new expungement law or if you qualify for an expungement, contact Missouri expungement attorney Chris Benjamin at KC Road Lawyers for a consultation. You can reach him by calling 816-425-2420 or navigating to our contact page