Expungement

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.

Missouri Expungements — RSMo. 610.140

This is the statute that 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;

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DWI Expungement — RSMo. 610.130

Although DWI is excluded from the list of offenses that can be expunged using the general expungement statute described above, a separate Missouri law allows people to expunge the arrest, guilty plea or conviction related to their first alcohol-related traffic or boating offense after ten years. RSMo. 610.130 grants the court less discretion in deciding whether the grant an expungement than 610.140, the general expungement statute described above, providing that the court shall enter an order of expungement if the following conditions are met:

(1) The petitioner (the person seeking expungement) has had no subsequent convictions for alcohol-related traffic or boating offenses.

(2) The petitioner has had no subsequent alcohol related enforcement contacts, meaning their license has not been suspended or revoked by the Missouri Department of Revenue due to a DWI arrest or citation.

(3) No such actions are pending at the time of the application.

RSMo. 610.130 applies to the records maintained by the Missouri Department of Revenue regarding a driver’s DWI in addition to the criminal case, so the record of a driver’s administrative alcohol suspension is expunged along with the record of the criminal case.

Set Aside of Guilty Plea in Municipal Courts or Ordinance Violation Bureaus — Supreme Court Rules  37.67 and 38.08

I often receive calls from drivers who have had their license suspended due to traffic offenses and the resulting points. They often ask me if it’s possible to have their convictions “expunged” so that they can get their licenses reinstated. While it is possible to expunge traffic convictions in many cases, there is often a better way to achieve this result or otherwise undo minor convictions. In many cases, Missouri Supreme Court Rules allow a defendant to withdraw a guilty plea and ask the Court to set aside the finding of guilt and conviction. Once that’s done, the defendant or his attorney is able to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor as if the plea had never happened. This method has several advantages over expungement.

(1) It’s almost always quicker. It’s usually only necessary to involve the court and prosecutor’s office directly involved in the case. There is no need to give notice to other state agencies and give them time to object to the set aside.

(2) Defendant’s are not required to wait a given period of time before asking the Court for a set aside. In fact, it’s important to file the motion as soon as possible after the plea. The court can grant a motion to set aside a guilty plea at any time in order to prevent manifest injustice. However, courts are much more likely to set aside recent pleas, and a motion to set aside a trial verdict must be filed with in ten days.

(3) Whereas RSMo. 610.140 limits the number of lifetime expungements a person can have, there is no limit on the number of convictions a court can set aside.

(4) Many of the other limitations of an expungement do not apply. For example, holders of a commercial license are not eligible for expungement of traffic conditions. However, these convictions can be set aside. Contact a Missouri expunngement lawyer at 816-287-0172 to discuss your case for free in order to to determine whether a set aside might work for you.

 

This page is a work in progress and presents an incomplete discussion of Missouri law regarding expungement of past offenses. We’re in the middle a a major site overhaul. Please don’t hesitate to use the contact form below to schedule a consultation or call me at 816-287-0172 to discuss your case in detail.