How To Expunge A Felony In Missouri?
- Dennis Hart
This page was revised to reflect the changes in the law that came into effect on August 28, 2021, and was updated accordingly. After their records were wiped, criminal defense attorney Scott Pierson has seen clients weep and have family celebrations. This is a monument to how an amendment to state legislation in recent years is positively influencing the lives of Missouri individuals.
Under Missouri’s expungement statute, individuals who have committed certain crimes may be able to have their charges sealed. This removes a significant burden off their shoulders and opens the door to future prospects, particularly in the realm of employment. Before the new rule went into force, there were only around a dozen offenses that were eligible for expungement; today, that number has increased to more over 1,900.
A criminal record may be expunged if it is then sealed by the court. It is not possible for the general public to view a record that has been erased, and reopening the record would need a court order. People who have had their criminal records erased are not required to reveal the offences for which they were cleared, with some exceptions mentioned in section 610.140 of the RSMo.
According to Pierson, an attorney at Twible Pearson Criminal Law in Springfield, “This is about identifying folks in their best, who have been doing really, really well and are able to discard a previous criminal background.” In 2016, the legislature of Missouri approved Senate Bill 588, which greatly increased the list of offenses that could be erased and offered more crimes that could not be purged.
The list of crimes that could not be expunged was also significantly expanded. This law becomes effective on the 1st of January, 2018. Following the passage of SB 1 a year later, the statute was amended to further extend the types of convictions that might be sealed, and the amendment became effective in August of 2019.
The Missouri State Legislature has, most recently, adopted Senate Bills 53 and 60, both of which entered into force on August 28, 2021. The most recent amendments have, among other things, extended the window of opportunity for petition filing and offered some minor modifications and clarifications. Class A felonies, offenses that require individuals to register as sexual offenders, felony offenses where death was part of the offense, felony assault offenses, misdemeanor or felony offenses for domestic assault, and felony convictions for kidnapping are some examples of crimes that are not eligible for expungement.
Other offenses that do not fit into these categories are also ineligible for expungement. These crimes are not the only crimes that do not qualify.610.140.2 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri outlines the offenses that cannot have their records sealed or purged.
According to Missouri law, in order to be eligible for an expungement, a person must first have their fine paid off, their probation or parole completed, and have a clean date that is at least three years in the past in order to be eligible for an expungement of a felony offense, or have a clean date that is at least one year in the past in order to be eligible for an expungement of a misdemeanor offense, municipal offense, or infraction.
Following the passage of Senate Bills 53 and 60 by the Missouri Legislature on August 28, 2021, these two wait times were cut down to a shorter duration. Before the 28th of August, 2021, persons needed to have a clean date that was seven years in the past in order to be eligible for an expungement of a felony charge, and they needed to wait three years in order to be eligible for an expungement of a minor offense.
According to section 610.140 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, in order to have a criminal record expunged, an individual is required to submit a petition to the court in the county where the individual was charged or found guilty of any charges. To download the petition for expungement, click on the link provided below.
When someone submits a petition for expungement, they are required to pay a fee of $250. If the person filing the petition is poor and unable to pay the fee, the court may decide to waive the additional payment. The individual must list as defendants in that petition any organizations that they feel may hold records relating to the offenses, violations, and infractions that are stated in the petition.
- According to 610.140 RSMo, once such persons have been served, the court “may take evidence and hear testimony on, and may consider” criteria about each specified offense, violation, or infraction.
- This provision applies only after those individuals have been served.
- You may get a list of the types of evidence that can be considered in an expungement court hearing by clicking here.
A court is required to hold a hearing on the expungement petition either within 60 days after an objection has been filed or within 30 days after defendants have been served and there have been no objections made. Defendants have 30 days after being served the petition to file objections to the petition for expungement.
- If the court decides to erase a conviction, the petitioner can continue to assert that he or she has not been convicted of the offense for which the conviction was purged even if the court rules to expunge the conviction.
- However, “persons who have been awarded an expungement are required to reveal any expunged conviction when disclosing information” when filling out specific forms, as specified in Section 610.140.9 of the Missouri Revised Statutes (RSMo).
According to what Pierson mentioned, an individual has the ability to resubmit an expungement petition after a year if their initial request is refused. There was also the option for the petitioner to appeal the ruling. It is possible for a person to have more than one conviction on their record expunged if the total number of such convictions does not exceed more than one felony crime and two misdemeanors or ordinance violations that may have resulted in incarceration.
- According to Pierson, the felony might create complications for a person when they apply for employment, business loans, student loans, housing, and other types of financial help, depending on the seriousness of the crime.
- He went on to say that the public perception of certain offenses is often negative, and that expungement gives people the opportunity to have their rights restored.
According to Pierson, an expungement may not be a viable option for some offenses based on the circumstances. He recommended that anyone who was interested in having an infraction expunged speak with a lawyer or contact the bar association in their area.
Can a SIS be expunged in Missouri?
One past misdemeanor conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI) or suspended sentence (SIS or SES) may be eligible for expungement. Under no circumstances is it possible to award an expungement to the bearer of a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Can a felon be a lawyer in Missouri?
Yes, But It Depends on the State If you have a felony conviction in one state, you may not be able to practice law in another state since the laws for doing so are different in each state. When a person who has served time for a felony can return to practice law varies from state to state.
In the states of Kansas and Missouri, for instance, before you may become an attorney you are required to wait five years following the completion of your sentence. In the state of Oregon, a person who has been convicted of a felony can still become an attorney, provided that the conviction was not one for which an attorney might be disbarred.
As of the year 2019, the territories of the United States of Palau and the Northern Mariana Islands are the only ones that strictly exclude former criminals from becoming attorneys unless they are first granted a full pardon.
What is Class D felony in Missouri?
The Class D infraction is the second-worst possible criminal charge. This degree of punishment is reserved by the law for the commission of more serious non-violent and low-level violent offences. This offense does not have a mandatory minimum punishment, either. However, the maximum sentence for someone guilty of committing a felony of the Class D might be seven years in jail.
Does a pardon clear your record in Missouri?
Full Pardon: Even if an individual is granted a full pardon, the conviction will still appear on their criminal record. A complete pardon eliminates any disqualification or punitive collateral consequence that may have arisen as a result of the conviction and returns all rights associated with citizenship to the individual without limits or restrictions.