According to Mo. Rev. Stat. § 610.131, individuals who pled guilty to or were found guilty of prostitution when they were under the age of 18 may apply for an order of expungement regarding all official records related to their arrest, plea, trial, and conviction. The court is required to enter an order of expungement in this situation if, after holding a hearing, it finds that the individuals were acting under the coercion of an agent when committing the offense. As used in this statute, coercion is defined as:
- Threats of serious harm or physical restraint
- Any scheme that is intended to make persons believe that failure to perform an act would result in serious harm or physical restraint, or
- The abuse or threatened abuse of legal process
If you are eligible for and receive an order of expungement in this situation, then you are restored to the same status that you had prior to the prostitution conviction, just as if it had never occurred. Similar to other expungement statutes, you will not commit perjury or give a false statement if you do not acknowledge the arrest, plea, trial, conviction, and expungement of the prostitution offense. The records related to this matter will remain confidential and will be released only to the parties or by court order based on good cause.
Having a conviction for prostitution on your record will appear every time a prospective employer, school, or landlord does a background check. The presence of this conviction, regardless of the circumstances, could cause you to lose out on jobs, prohibit you from following certain career paths, and make it more difficult to better yourself. As a result, expungement of a prior prostitution conviction can be highly beneficial to your future. If you have questions about expungement of your criminal records, you will greatly benefit from the legal advice that you only can get from an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center of Benjamin Law Firm, LLC, has the skills and knowledge that will benefit you in handling your criminal charge and/or your expungement case as needed. When you need clear answers to your legal questions, contact our office today at (816) 322-8008. ff