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More On Missouri's Expungement Law.

Welcome to part 2 of our blog series on Missouri's new expungement law. Expungement is a legal process that allows someone to petition a court to have an arrest, guilty plea, or conviction removed from certain public records. Missouri's new expungement law will become effective January 1, 2018. Happy New Year. If a criminal conviction has been following you around for too long, 2018 will be a great year.

The new law greatly increases the number of criminal offenses that can be expunged from public records. It also shortens the waiting period. Here's what you can expect if you want to erase that "hold my beer" moment from your record:

For starters, the court costs for filing an expungement petition are going to run $250.00 and you will have to file your petition in the court in which you were arrested, charged or found guilty. Next, you will have to get your fingerprints taken and submitted to the court. Prosecutors will then have the option of filing a written objection within 30 days. Hopefully, if you are otherwise eligible, no prosecutor will stand in your way of clearing your name.  

Next, the court will hold a hearing where you will have to prove that it has been either seven years (for a felony) or three years (for a misdemeanor) since you ran afoul of the law. Traffic violations don't count. You also have to show that you did your time or paid your fine for the crime you are attempting to expunge.You can't have any pending criminal charges and the court must find that you are no longer a threat to public safety. The court will then issue an order to any entity possessing records of your conviction to "close" any record in its possession relating to your offense.

There are many more wrinkles to the new expungement procedures. We will continue to provide more information about the expungement process right here on our blog as the new year approaches. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.

Thanks for reading.

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