Expungement Lawyer: Missouri Expungement Law
July 1, 2021
Overland Park’s award-winning expungement lawyer, Mark Grover, would like to tell you about an important change in Missouri’s expungement laws that went into effect a few years ago.
We all make mistakes. Some mistakes may have gotten you into trouble with the law. Although you served your time and are ready to move on, your criminal record is not. Even a slight blemish in your criminal record can prevent you from getting the job you want, finding housing, applying for financial aid, and much more. If you were arrested or convicted of a crime in Missouri and this mirrors your situation, Overland Park’s expungement lawyer, Mark Grover, has some good news for you. In 2018, the state of Missouri enacted a new expungement law that enables many types of records to be expunged.
Before diving into the content of the new expungement law, it is important to know what an expungement is. An expungement is the process of erasing, sealing, or destroying arrest or conviction records. After a record is expunged, employers and other people cannot see it anymore. It is as if the arrest or conviction never happened.
Suppose you were once convicted of theft and you later expunged that conviction. After the expungement, you interview for a job and the interviewer asks whether you have been convicted of a crime. Because you expunged the record, you can legally answer no to the question. If the employer does a background check on you, the employer will not see the theft conviction on your record.
Some records are allowed to be expunged and some are not. Whether a particular record can be expunged depends on state law and each state has different expungement laws. In 2018, Missouri drastically changed its expungement law, and this new expungement law allows the expungement of many types of records that were not allowed under the old law. For decades, Missouri’s old expungement law only allowed a meager thirteen misdemeanor offenses to be expunged. These included check fraud, disturbing the peace, gambling, trespass, negligent burning or exploding, tampering, being drunk in church, some DWI convictions, and some other minor misdemeanors. Missouri’s new expungement law added a whopping 1,900 new offenses that are eligible for expungement. Some of the most notable are drug offenses. Many severe crimes are still not eligible to be expunged. These include Class A felonies, any offense that requires registration as a sex offender, any felony where death is an element of the offense, felony assault, misdemeanor or felony domestic assault, felony kidnapping, and other similar crimes.
Another important change is the wait time before a record can be expunged. A convicted individual must wait a number of years after finishing their sentence or probation before they can expunge their records. Under Missouri’s old expungement law, a person must wait ten years to expunge a misdemeanor and twenty years to expunge a felony. Under Missouri’s new expungement law, a person only needs to wait three years to expunge a misdemeanor and seven years to expunge a felony.
Although you may be eligible for an expungement, it is still a long and difficult process to get one. That is why it is extremely important to be represented by a qualified expungement lawyer in Missouri. The process begins with you filing a petition with the jurisdiction that arrested, charged, and convicted you. The petition must contain the names of prosecutors on your case, law enforcement agencies, courts, and state repositories of criminal records. You must also list each specific offense that you want to expunge. You must also explain on the petition how you have changed and why you are qualified for an expungement. These are some of the many materials that must be provided in the petition. Your expungement lawyer will help you gather the required information, draft the petition, and submit the petition to the court. All of this is step one.
After the petition is submitted, the state of Missouri has thirty days to object to the expungement. If the state objects, the court has sixty days to hold a hearing. It is crucial to not represent yourself in this hearing because you will have to argue against a prosecutor who is an experienced lawyer and knows every trick in the book to prevent you from getting your expungement. You need an experienced expungement lawyer to argue on your behalf and even the playing field.
Mark Grover has over a decade of experience as an expungement lawyer in both Missouri and Kansas. Your friends at Grover Law Firm want to help you get a clean slate and get your future back on track. Our consultations and case evaluations are always free, so you have nothing to lose by talking to us. Feel free to call us at 913-432-1000, or visit our website for more information.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.