Expungement: Expunging a Missouri Criminal Case under RSMo. 610.140
Effective May, 2019, you can now potentially expunge your criminal arrest, guilty plea, or conviction in Missouri which was not been possible in the past. Any such arrest, guilty plea or conviction can also be a case that included SIS (suspended imposition of sentence) probation.
You may be eligible for expungement if you have one felony to expunge, or if you have multiple felonies that are on the same information or indictment, or if the felonies are the same course of criminal conduct.
You may be eligible for expungement if you have two or more misdemeanors or ordinance violations to expunge. This is limited to two offenses only if the misdemeanors or ordinance violations carried an authorized term of imprisonment.
You can expunge any number of infractions.
To be eligible for expungement of any offense you must have satisfied all obligations related to finishing the final disposition of the case, including payment of court-ordered restitution and fines and costs.
If you are attempting to expunge a Missouri felony offense, seven years must have passed since probation or parole were completed or since all fines were paid that were due on the felony.
If you are attempting to expunge a Missouri misdemeanor or infraction, three years must have passed since probation or parole were completed or since all fines were paid that were due on the misdemeanor or infraction.
If you are trying to expunge an arrest alone, the statutes 610.122 & 610.123 allow for immediate petition but it is a harder process to get your expungement using these statutes. Call us for a free consultation to discuss.
During these wait stated wait periods (five years for felony, three years for misdemeanors or infractions) you can not have any guilty pleas for any other felony or misdemeanor offenses. Simple traffic tickets or motor vehicle equipment regulation violations do not count and will not bar you.
You can also have no charges currently pending while you apply for any expungement.
How Long Will This Take?
The process from hiring us to court order typically takes about four to six months.
Perhaps most importantly, there are many, many offenses that cannot be expunged. There is a large exclusion list with 102+ offenses that do not qualify for expungement ever. Look carefully over this list to determine if your offense is one of these exclusions.
WHY should you expunge you past Missouri criminal offense?
The statute allows for the following relief and certain limitations:
- If you have your offense expunged, you can say NO on any employment application as to whether you’ve been convicted of a crime (unless required to report as below in #9). HOWEVER, you shall say yes to that question “and disclose your criminal convictions, including any offense or violation expunged under this section or similar law, if the employer is required to exclude applicants with certain criminal convictions from employment due to federal or state law, including corresponding rules and regulations”
- When you expunge your past Missouri criminal offense records become confidential (like they are sealed). “Records & files in any administrative or court proceeding in municipal, associate or circuit court shall be confidential & only available to the parties or by court order for good cause.”
- When you expunge your past Missouri criminal offense, the Missouri Central Repository shall request the FBI to expunge the records from its files.
- Any rights that you had before your offense that were limited shall be restored after your Missouri criminal offense is expunged. “Except as otherwise provided under this section, the effect of such order shall be to restore such person to the status he or she occupied prior to such arrests, pleas, trials, or convictions as if such events had never taken place.”
- Once the offense is expunged and removed successfully from your record, you cannot be found guilty of perjury or giving false statement by any failure to acknowledge the expunged arrests, pleas, trials, convictions, etc.
- If you are facing any new charge of any offense, violation, or infraction, then you must disclose the expunged offense, violation, or infraction to any court when asked.
- Note though that eve if successfully expunged, the expunged offense, violation, or infraction may be considered a prior offense in determining a sentence to be imposed for any subsequent offense that the person is found guilty of committing. “any record expunged under this section of any arrests or findings of guilt can be used by a law enforcement agency, prosecuting attorney, including its use as a prior offense, violation, or infraction.”
- Even if you successfully get an expungement, you MUST still disclose the expunged offense, violation, or infraction when it is necessary for:
A license, certificate, or permit issued by this state to practice such individual's profession;
Any license issued under chapter 313 – Licensed Gaming Activities;
Any permit issued under chapter 571 – Weapons Offenses;
Paid or unpaid employment with an entity licensed under chapter 313 – Gaming statute; - Paid or unpaid employment with any state-operated lottery;
Paid or unpaid employment with any emergency services provider;
Paid or unpaid employment with any law enforcement agency;
Employment with any federally insured bank or savings institution or credit union or an affiliate of such institution or credit union for the purposes of compliance with 12 U.S.C. Section 1829 and 12 U.S.C. Section 1785 (this is subdivision 4 as mentioned below);
Employment with any entity engaged in the business of insurance or any insurer for the purpose of complying with 18 U.S.C. Section 1033, 18 U.S.C. Section 1034, or other similar law which requires an employer engaged in the business of insurance to exclude applicants with certain criminal convictions from employment;
Employment with any employer that is required to exclude applicants with certain criminal convictions from employment due to federal or state law, including corresponding rules and regulations (this is subdivision 6 as mentioned below).
NOTE: An employer shall notify an applicant of the requirements under subdivisions (4) to (6) of this subsection. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, an expunged offense, violation, or infraction shall not be grounds for automatic disqualification of an applicant, but may be a factor for denying employment, or a professional license, certificate, or permit; except that, an offense, violation, or infraction expunged under the provisions of this section may be grounds for automatic disqualification if the application is for employment under subdivisions (4) to (6) of this subsection.