Expungements

Expungement is a court-ordered process in which the legal record of an arrest or a criminal conviction is “sealed,” or erased in the eyes of the law. The effect of an expungement is to restore such person to the status he or she occupied prior to an arrest, plea or conviction, as if such event had never happened. The availability of expungement, and the procedure for getting an arrest or conviction expunged, will vary according to the type of charge as well as a number of other factors.

Having a felony or a misdemeanor charge on your criminal record can be detrimental to your ability to:

  • find a job
  • vote
  • purchase or carry a firearm
  • rent a home or apartment
  • take advantage of education opportunities

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)

Missouri law allows expungement of a DWI arrest, plea or conviction to be expunged after a period of ten (10) years assuming the following conditions are met:

(1) The DWI being expunged must be your first and only;
(2) The charge must have been a misdemeanor; and
(3) The petitioner must have no additional alcohol-related convictions or alcohol-related enforcement contacts.

Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP)

Missouri law allows expungement of a MIP arrest, plea and conviction to be expunged if the following conditions are met:

(1) It must be the first time you have plead or been found guilty of an MIP;
(2) The petition must be filed after a period of not less than one year after reaching the age of 21; and
(3) You must have no other You must have no other alcohol-related convictions or alcohol-related enforcement contacts.

Other offenses which may be expunged under current Missouri law include:

  • Any felony or misdemeanor offense of passing a bad check
  • Any felony or misdemeanor offense of fraudulently stopping payment of an instrument
  • Any felony or misdemeanor offense of fraudulent use of a credit device or debit device
  • Negligent burning or exploding
  • Tampering in second degree
  • Property damage in the second degree by knowingly damaging
  • property of another
  • Trespass in the first degree
  • Gambling
  • Private peace disturbance
  • Drunkenness or drinking in prohibited places
  • Any class B or C misdemeanor offenses of peace disturbance

(1) It must have been twenty (20) years if the offense is a felony or ten (10) years if the offense is a misdemeanor, municipal offense, or infraction since the person completed any sentence of imprisonment or any period of probation or parole.

(2) The person has not been found guilty of a misdemeanor or felony (not including traffic violations during the intervening time period.

(3) The person has paid any amount of restitution ordered by the court;

(4) The circumstances and behavior of the petitioner warrant the expungement; and

(5) The expungement is consistent with the public welfare.

Yes. Missouri law provides that a petition to expunge records related to an arrest for an eligible offense, violation, or infraction may be made in a court of in the county where the petitioner was arrested, provided that, the court determines that the arrest was based on false information and the following conditions exist: (1) there is no probable cause, at the time of the action to expunge, to believe the individual committed the offense; (2) no charges will be pursued as a result of the arrest; and (3) the subject of the arrest did not receive a suspended imposition of sentence for the offense for which the arrest was made or for any offense related to the arrest.

  • All records relating to the offense, other than the court’s file, will be destroyed.
  • All expunged records become confidential and only available with a court order.
  • The highway patrol will advise the FBI to expunge your record from its files.
  • Any of the restrictions put on you because of your punishment will be restored.
  • You will be restored to the legal status you had prior to your arrest, plea, trial or conviction as if the incident never happened.

In 2016 both houses of the Missouri legislature passed, and the governor signed, Senate Bill 588. This law doesn’t go into effect until January 1, 2018, however, at that time it will significantly expand the types of offenses that are eligible for expungement in the State of Missouri.

Under the new Missouri expungement law:

(1) A person may seek expungement in any Missouri court in which the person was charged or found guilty.

(2) A petition may list all offenses that the person is seeking to have expunged.

(3) Although there is no set time period that must pass before applying for an expungement, a court may consider if seven (7) years have passed in felony cases or three (3) years have passed in misdemeanor cases.

(4) In addition, in determining whether to grant an expungement the court may consider:

  • The person has not been found guilty of any other misdemeanor or felony, not including traffic violations, during the intervening period;
  • The person has satisfied all obligations of the imposed sentence, including the payment of any fines or restitution;
  • The person does not have charges pending;
  • The petitioner’s habits and conduct demonstrate that the petitioner is not a threat to the public safety of the state; and
  • The expungement is consistent with the public welfare and the interests of justice warrant the expungement.

(5) If the above conditions are met it is presumed that the expungement is warranted.

For a list of charges that will not be eligible for expungement under the new law, see below.

Charges that may NOT be expunged under the new Missouri law include:

(1) Any class A felony

(2) Any dangerous felony, including:

  • Arson in the first degree
  • Assault in the first degree
  • Attempted rape in the first degree with physical injury
  • Attempted forcible rape with physical injury
  • Attempted sodomy in the first degree with physical injury
  • Attempted forcible sodomy with physical injury
  • Rape in the first degree
  • Forcible rape
  • Sodomy in the first degree
  • Forcible sodomy
  • Assault in the second degree if the victim of such assault is a special victim
  • Kidnapping in the first degree
  • Kidnapping
  • Murder in the second degree
  • Assault of a law enforcement officer in the first degree
  • Domestic assault in the first degree
  • Elder abuse in the first degree
  • Robbery in the first degree
  • Statutory rape, first degree when the victim is less than twelve years of age
  • Statutory sodomy, first degree when the victim is a child less than twelve years
  • Child molestation in the first or second degree
  • Child pornography
  • Abuse of a child if the child dies as a result of injuries
  • Child kidnapping
  • Parental kidnapping (some instances)
  • Intoxication-related traffic or boating offenses if habitual offender
  • Offenses involving the operation of a motor vehicle by an individual who holds a commercial driver’s license.

(3) Any offense that requires registration as a sex offender

(4) Any felony offense where death is an element of the offense.

(5) Any felony offense of assault; misdemeanor or felony of domestic assault or felony offense of kidnapping.

(6) Any intoxication related traffic or boating offenses other than first time offenses.

(7) Any ordinance violation that is the substantial equivalent of any offense that is not eligible for expungement under this section.

(8) Any violations of any state law or county or municipal ordinance regulating the operation of motor vehicles when committed by an individual who has been issued a commercial driver’s license or is required to possess a commercial driver’s license issued by this state or any other state.

(9) Any of the following offenses:

  • Abandonment of a child, first degree
  • Abandonment of a child, second degree
  • Abandonment of a corpse without notifying authorities
  • Abortion of viable unborn child
  • Abortion performed by other than a physician with surgical privileges at a hospital
  • Abuse or neglect of a child
  • Age misrepresentation with intent to solicit a minor
  • Agroterrorism
  • Aiding a sexual offender
  • Aiding escape of a prisoner
  • Allow a person other than a licensed physician to perform or induce an abortion.
  • Arson in the second degree
  • Assault on a police animal
  • Burglary in the first degree
  • Bus hijacking
  • Child abduction
  • Child molestation, third degree
  • Child molestation, fourth degree
  • Child used in sexual performance
  • Class one election offenses
  • Cross burning
  • Defrauding secured creditors
  • Delivery or concealment of controlled substances in a correctional
  • facility
  • Disarming a peace officer or correctional officer
  • Discrimination or intimidation relating to elections
  • Endangering a corrections employee
  • Endangering a mental health employee, visitor, or another offender
  • Endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree
  • Enticement of a child
  • Escape from commitment, detention, or conditional release
  • Escape or attempted escape from custody
  • Escape or attempted escape from confinement
  • Failure to return to confinement
  • Forgery
  • Fraudulent insurance act
  • Fraudulent purchase of a firearm
  • Fraudulent use of a credit device or debit device
  • Genital mutilation of a female child
  • Identity theft
  • Incest
  • Kidnapping, third degree
  • Killing or disabling a police animal
  • Knowingly burning or exploding
  • Knowingly exposing another to HIV
  • Making a terrorist threat, first degree
  • Making a terrorist threat, second degree
  • Money laundering
  • Mortgage fraud
  • Negligent burning or exploding
  • Negligent setting fire or allowing to escape
  • Perjury
  • Permitting escape
  • Pharmacy robbery
  • Planting a bomb or explosive in or near a bus or terminal
  • Possession of a forging instrumentality
  • Possession of firearm unlawful for certain persons
  • Possession, manufacture, transport, repair, sale of certain weapons
  • Promoting civil disorder in the first degree
  • Promoting online sexual solicitation
  • Promoting sexual performance by a child
  • Property damage in the first degree
  • Psychiatric offender committing violence against an employee
  • Rape, second degree
  • Recklessly burning or exploding
  • Robbery in the second degree
  • Sexual abuse, first degree
  • Sexual abuse, second degree
  • Sexual conduct with a nursing facility resident or a vulnerable person, first degree
  • Sexual conduct with a nursing facility resident or a vulnerable person, second degree
  • Sexual contact or intercourse with skilled nursing facility residents
  • Sexual contact with a student
  • Sexual misconduct, first degree
  • Sexual misconduct, second degree
  • Sexual misconduct involving a child
  • Sexual offender residing within one thousand feet of a school or child care facility
  • Sexual offender serving as athletic coaches, managers, or trainers
  • Sexual offender within five hundred feet of a child care facility
  • Sexual offender within five hundred feet of school property
  • Sexual offender within five hundred feet of a public park or swimming pool
  • Sexual trafficking of a child, first degree
  • Sexual trafficking of a child, second degree
  • Sex with an animal
  • Sodomy in the second degree
  • Statutory rape, second degree
  • Statutory sodomy, second degree
  • Stealing
  • Tampering with a judicial officer
  • Trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation
  • Trafficking in children
  • Trafficking in stolen identities
  • Trespass to railroad property
  • Unlawful possession of an explosive weapon
  • Unlawful use of weapons
  • Unlawful transfer of weapons
  • Use or possession of a metal-penetrating bullet during the commission of a crime
  • Violation of order of protection
  • Violence to a mental health employee or offender
  • Vulnerable person abuse in the third degree
  • Water contamination