Missouri law permits individuals to expunge, i.e., erase or remove, four kinds of records:
1. MINOR IN POSSESSION (MIP) OF ALCOHOL.
Missouri authorizes the expungement of a conviction for Minor in Possession (MIP) of alcohol so long as certain requirements are met, including being age twenty-two or older when you seek expungement and having been guilty of just one Missouri MIP offense in your lifetime.
2. ALCOHOL-RELATED DRIVING OFFENSE (DWI / OWI).
Missouri code additionally allows the expungement of an individual’s first alcohol-related driving infraction, however, specific requirements must be complied with in order to qualify, including that the conviction occurred a minimum of 10 years ago, the offense was a misdemeanor (as opposed to a felony), and you received no similar convictions during the course of the same ten years. If granted, the judge will order the expungement of all records of your arrest, plea, lawsuit, or conviction.
Effective July 12, 2012, a brand-new Missouri statute now permits the expungement of certain misdemeanor conviction records. To be eligible, you must have been pronounced guilty of one of the following types of misdemeanor offenses and finished all required probation or sentences at least ten years ago:
–Financial: Issuing a bad check; fraudulently voiding payment on a check; or improper use of a credit or debit card;
–Property Damage: Negligent burning; tampering with a vehicle; damaging property;
–Other: Trespassing; gambling; peace disturbance; and/or public intoxication.
Additionally, a restricted few felony convictions may be expunged if you completed all required probation or incarceration at least 20 years ago, including issuing a bad check; fraudulently stopping payment on a check; and/or fraudulent use of a credit or debit card. To be eligible, you may not have been found guilty of another misdemeanor or felony throughout that ten or twenty year time period.
4. ARREST RECORDS.
Finally, Missouri expungement law permits a record of arrest to be expunged if the arrest did not lead to a conviction and you establish that you were not charged, there was no probable cause for the arrest, and you have no previous or subsequent convictions. It may be difficult to meet each of these requirements, and especially the lack of probable cause factor, due to the fact that it is a pliable standard that varies case by case, making it hard to establish, especially without an attorney.
The Missouri expungement procedure includes verifying your eligibility, drafting legal documents for filing with the court, and a potential court date to determine whether your expungement should be granted. You have a right to represent yourself in Missouri courts, but you should speak to a Missouri expungement lawyer if you have any doubts about your qualification for expungement or the expungement process. Lawyers can bill either a flat fee or by the hour to prepare an expungement. Flat fees for standard Missouri expungement cases are around $750.
Expunging your Missouri record can clean up your criminal record, creating opportunities for better employment, credit rating, education, and housing. But getting an expungement requires getting all the facts and then taking action.