Expungement allows a person who has been convicted of a crime to have the conviction removed from their criminal record. In Missouri expungements were historically permitted in limited circumstances. But beginning January 1, 2018, legislation makes the process and application of expungement to criminal convictions significantly broader in application than it has been in the past.
A clean record is important when it comes to employment opportunities, and hard working people face obstacles to employment when criminal convictions signal a red flag to employers. Work with an experienced St. Louis attorney to receive effective advice, expertise, and representation.
You will qualify only in certain situations for expungements. Not all criminal convictions qualify. Convictions generally fall into two categories: alcohol-related driving offenses and all other offenses. The following is designed to provide an overview of the crimes that are (or are not) eligible for expungement
Expungement of Alcohol-related Driving Offenses
A person must meet the following requirements to qualify for an expungement of an alcohol related driving offense:
At least ten years has elapsed since the conviction of the offense
The conviction was for a misdemeanor or ordinance violation
The offense was the defendant’s first intoxication-related offense
The person has not been convicted of an alcohol-related driving offense since the first conviction
The person has had no subsequent alcohol-related enforcement contacts
There are no pending alcohol related actions at the time of the hearing
The conviction was not for driving a commercial motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol
Expungement of All Other Criminal Convictions
Not all criminal convictions may be expunged. The following types of offenses do not qualify for expungement in Missouri under the new law:
Class A felonies
Any dangerous felony (assault or robbery as examples)
Any offense requiring registration as a sex offender
Any felony offense where death is an element of the offense
Any felony assault or kidnapping
Any misdemeanor or felony domestic assault
Expungement of all other criminal convictions may be allowed if a person meets the following requirements:
The passing of at least seven years since the completion of a felony disposition, or three years since the completion of a misdemeanor disposition. The time of completion is not measured from the date of the conviction but, rather, from the date the person completed their probation, parole or sentence.
The person has not been found guilty of any other misdemeanor or felony during the three or seven-year period (whichever is applicable) referenced above.
The person has satisfied all obligations of his or her disposition. (This could include serving a sentence of incarceration, paying fines, and/or the successful completion of a term of probation or parole.)
There are no pending charges against the person.
The person’s habits and conduct demonstrates the person is not a threat to public safety.
The expungement is consistent with the public welfare and the interests of justice.
To be considered for an expungement a person must file a petition in the circuit court of the county where the person was convicted.
You may expunge two (2) misdemeanors or one (1) felony during your lifetime.
Expungement and Employment
The fact that a person successfully expunges one (1) or more offense from their record does not mean that they will never have to disclose that they were convicted of a crime. The new law requires that anyone granted an expungement is required to disclose a conviction under certain circumstances when applying for employment or professional licensing. If a profession requires a license, certificate, or permit issued by Missouri, the conviction must be disclosed in the application for that license. A conviction must also be disclosed if the individual is applying for employment in the following areas: emergency services providers; law enforcement agencies; banks or credit unions; the insurance industry; and, any job where the employer is required to exclude applicants with criminal convictions from employment due to federal or state law.
When applying for other jobs, an applicant who has obtained an expungement may answer “No” as to that expunged offense when asked if they have ever been convicted of a crime. Consult an attorney if you don’t know how to answer that question on an application.
Work with Scrivner Law LLC Today for All Your Expungement Needs
For the best representation available, work one of our St. Louis attorneys today. Having achieved a deep understanding of the current law allows us to assist you. Contact us today for a consultation at (314) 727-7100 (ext. 118) to see how we can help.