Discover how the laws pertaining to Missouri criminal record expungements have expanded in recent years. This article provides a comprehensive overview of eligible crimes, petition procedures, and timelines. Get a fresh start and consult with The Law Firm of Kenneth L. Jamison.
Are you burdened by a criminal record that’s been holding you back from opportunities? The laws pertaining to Missouri criminal record expungements have evolved significantly, offering hope and a chance for a fresh start. At The Law Firm of Kenneth L. Jamison, we believe in the power of second chances. In this article, we provide a comprehensive overview of Missouri expungements, including the crimes eligible for expungement and the procedures involved in petitioning the court. Discover how Senate Bill 588, enacted in 2018, has expanded expungement opportunities and opened doors for many Missourians seeking to clear their record.
Missouri Senate Bill 588
Missouri’s expungement laws underwent a significant transformation with the passing of Senate Bill 588. This legislation expanded the scope of crimes eligible for expungement, providing more individuals with an opportunity to erase past mistakes. Previously, only a limited number of offenses could be expunged, but now, a broader range of crimes can be considered. In general, crimes that are ineligible for expungement included class A felonies, offenses that require individuals to register as sex offenders, felony offenses where death was part of the offense, felony assault offenses, misdemeanor or felony offenses for domestic assault, and felony conviction for kidnapping. The list of crimes that cannot be expunged are outlined in §610.140.2 RSMo.
Crimes Eligible For Expungement In Missouri
Expungement eligibility primarily depends on the type of crime for which an individual was convicted. While not all offenses are eligible, a wide range of misdemeanors and felonies can now be considered for expungement under Missouri law. She the list below of common examples of eligible crimes for expungement:
- Certain Drug Offenses: Possession of controlled substances, possession with intent to distribute, or drug paraphernalia offenses may be eligible for expungement under certain circumstances.
- Property Crimes: Theft, stealing, or property damage offenses, such as vandalism or trespassing, may be considered for expungement, depending on the specific circumstances and the value of the property involved.
- Fraud and Forgery: Non-violent white-collar crimes, including forgery, identity theft, or credit card fraud, may be eligible for expungement if certain criteria are met.
- Non-Violent Offenses: Non-violent offenses such as certain types of assault, harassment, or stalking may be considered for expungement if they meet the requirements outlined in Senate Bill 588.
- Minor Weapons Offenses: Some misdemeanor weapons offenses, such as unlawful possession of a firearm, may be eligible for expungement under specific conditions.
- Minor Traffic Offenses: Certain traffic offenses, such as driving without a license or registration, may be eligible for expungement if they meet the criteria outlined in the legislation.
- Alcohol-Related Offenses: Certain alcohol-related offenses, such as minor in possession (MIP) or public intoxication, may be considered for expungement under specific circumstances.
- Juvenile Offenses: Some juvenile offenses, including certain misdemeanor and felony offenses committed as a minor, may be eligible for expungement after meeting the necessary requirements.
- Prostitution and Solicitation: Certain non-violent sex-related offenses, such as prostitution or solicitation, may be considered for expungement if specific criteria are met.
- Unlawful Entry Offenses: Non-violent unlawful entry offenses, including trespassing or criminal trespass, may be eligible for expungement under certain conditions.
- Forgery of Instrument – Forgery-related offenses, such as forgery of checks or other financial instruments, may be eligible if they meet certain requirements.
Remember, the eligibility for expungement may depend on various factors, including the specific details of the offense, the completion of the sentence, and the time elapsed since the conviction. It is essential to consult with an attorney to determine your eligibility for expungement based on your unique circumstances.
Timeframe For Expungement Eligibility In Missouri
The eligibility for Missouri criminal record expungements differs between misdemeanors and felonies. Modifications to the Missouri expungements laws were passed in 2021 that significantly shortened the eligibility timeframe for eligible offenses. For most misdemeanor offenses, individuals must wait a minimum of one year from the completion of their sentence before becoming eligible to petition the court for expungement. Felony offenses, on the other hand, generally require a longer waiting period of three years, depending on the specific offense.
The Expungement Process In Missouri
Before embarking on the expungement process, we recommend that you consult with an experienced attorney, who can assess your eligibility, guide you through the process, and ensure all necessary documentation is prepared accurately. If you are seeking to clear your criminal record in the Kansas City, Missouri area, contact The Law Firm of Kenneth L. Jamison.
- Filing a Petition: The expungement process begins by filing a petition with the appropriate court. This petition outlines the details of your conviction, provides evidence of your eligibility, and explains why expungement is necessary for your rehabilitation and future opportunities.
- Court Review and Hearing: Once the petition is filed, the court will review your case. In some instances, a hearing may be scheduled to further evaluate your eligibility. The court will consider factors that include the specific offense, your completion of the sentence, and if you have received any subsequent criminal charges.
- Expungement Order: If the court approves your petition, an expungement order will be issued. This order directs law enforcement agencies, courts, and other relevant entities to seal the records related to your conviction. However, it’s important to note that expungement does not automatically remove records from private databases or the internet.
Missouri expungement laws offer individuals the opportunity to rebuild their lives and move forward with a clean slate. With the passage of Senate Bill 588, the number of crimes eligible for expungement has expanded, giving hope to those seeking redemption. Subsequent recent changes to the Missouri expungement laws have shortened the amount of time individuals must wait before starting the expungement process. If you or someone you know is burdened by a criminal record, contact Attorney Kenneth Jamison at the Law Firm of Kenneth L. Jamison to explore your expungement options. We can help you take the first step towards a brighter future.