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EXPUNGED! Like It Never Even Happened!

Expungement.  It's a legal term.  It's a way to scrub a criminal record clean if you have ever run afoul of the law.  Expungement is a process that allows someone to petition a court to have an arrest, guilty plea, or conviction removed from certain public records.

Up until the passage of Senate Bill 588 in 2016, Missouri was not a very forgiving state when it came to giving its citizens a chance to clean up their criminal records. Missouri's expungement statute was limited and imposed strict limits on the number and type of criminal offenses that one could expunge from certain public records.  Only a very limited number of felonies and misdemeanors could be expunged and you had to wait a long time; 20 years and 10 years, respectively.

Senate Bill 588 dramatically changed the law in Missouri regarding the expungement of criminal records. Missouri's new expungement law, which first took effect in January of 2018, greatly increases the types of criminal offenses that can be expunged from public records. Secondly, it shortens the time one has to wait to have a guilty plea or conviction expunged. For felonies, the waiting period has been reduced from 20 years to 7 years.  For misdemeanors, the waiting period has been reduced from 10 years to 3 years.

The law makes certain that serious felonies cannot be expunged: Class A felonies, any dangerous felony, felonies requiring registration as a sex offender, felonies where death is an element of the crime, any felony assault, misdemeanor or felony domestic assault, and felony kidnapping. The new law further lists several more offenses (too many to list here) that cannot be expunged but the upside is that it greatly increases the number of offenses that can be expunged.

Another interesting legal effect of expunging a crime from your permanent record: any person who has been granted an expungement of a criminal record pertaining to a misdemeanor of a felony, may lawfully answer "no" to an employer's inquiry as to whether or not the person has ever been convicted of a crime.

If you have been hounded by a criminal record for something you did a long time ago, the time is here to clean up your past. Contact our office and ask how you can erase a criminal conviction from your record.

 

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COMMENTS
Jessica Simms JULY 20 2016
This was a very good read. I do have many questions about this new law
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