Kansas City Expungement Lawyer
A criminal conviction, or even just a guilty plea, can have profound consequences that you may not have expected or understood at the time. You may have trouble finding the employment you deserve or have lost your firearms rights. Your access to your children or ability to participate in their activities at school might be limited. Or you might just want a second chance. Fortunately under Missouri law, in many cases your arrest, plea, trial, and conviction can be expunged, meaning you can petition the court to close the records of your case maintained by the State of Missouri. If the court grants your request, in most cases you will not have to disclose the conviction, and most of the collateral consequences of the offense will no longer apply to you. Missouri has several statutory mechanisms for expunging convictions, guilty pleas, arrests, and other records of criminal offenses. If you’d like to discuss your situation in order to determine the best option for you, please call 816-287-0172 to talk to a Missouri expungement lawyer now or use the form below to schedule free consultation.
RSMo. 610.140 applies in the majority of non-driving while intoxicated expungement cases. Recent changes to RSMo. 610.140 have reduced the time you must wait before an offense can be expunged and made it possible to expunge many offenses that could not previously be expunged. However, not every charge can be expunged. Offenses that cannot be expunged include:
(1) Class A felonies;
(2) Any dangerous felony as that term is defined in Section 556.061;
(3) Any offense that requires registration as a sex offender;
(4) Felony offenses having death as an element of the offense;
(5) Felony Assault;
(6) Any charge of domestic violence;
(7) Felony kidnapping;
(8) Numerous charges specifically excluded from the statute.
(9) Alcohol-related traffic offenses. (Though these offenses may be expungable under other Sections.)
(10) Driving offenses committed by holders of commercial drivers licenses.
(11) Most convictions for unlawful use of a weapon.
The statutes also limits the total number of lifetime expungements a person can have under RSMo. 610.140 to one felony or two misdemeanors. However, in many cases, multiple charges can be expunged in the same expungement petition without counting as more than one expungement.
You must wait three years from the date of arrest before filing a petition for expungement under this section. Additionally, seven years must have passed since you completed your sentence or probation if your charge was a felony, and three years must have passed if your charge was a misdemeanor. 1
Other factors the judge is to consider in deciding whether to grant a petition for expungement are:
(1) Whether the person has been found guilty of another offense, not including violations of traffic regulations;
(2) The person has fulfilled all obligations related to the offense, such as serving a sentence, completing probation or parole, and paying any related fines or restitution;
(4) The person does not have charges pending at the time the judge is considering the expungement petition;
(5) The petitioner’s habits and conduct demonstrate that the petitioner is not a threat to the public safety of the state; and
(6) The expungement is consistent with the public welfare and the interests of justice warrant the expungement.
It’s important to note that 610.140 grants the judge the discretion to base his or her decision on the factors above. That’s one of the many reasons it’s important to have a qualified attorney on your side when seeking expungement.
Update: In August 2021, RSMo. 610.140 was amended again, reducing the time a person must wait to have a felony expunged to three years from seven years and to one year from three years in the case of a misdemeanor. The legislature also added the language “For purposes of 18 U.S.C. Section 921(a)(33)(B)(ii)***, an order or expungement granted pursuant to this section shall be considered a complete removal of all effects of the expunged conviction” to RSMo. 610.140.8 in an obvious attempt to address the matter of whether a Missouri expungement functions as a “complete expungement” or merely a records closure, a distinction that has significant consequences, most notably with regard to restoration of federal firearms rights.
A separate statute, RSMo 610.130, allows drivers found guilty of a DWI / DUI more than ten years ago to have the event, including related administrative license sanctions removed from their records. The process of expunging a DWI is similar to expunging other offenses and, in many cases, the companion case, the ticket that led to the stop that resulted in the DWI can be expunged in the same petition.