Missouri’s new expungement law has given many people an opportunity of a lifetime: expunge an offense from your record and be able to assert you were not convicted of a crime. For those in the job market, an expungement can open new doors that may have previously been closed. For those looking for housing, an expungement can help them apply for rentals confidently. And for anyone with a criminal record, it’s a chance to formally move on from your charges with a clean slate. But the law itself is complex, and you will need the assistance of an experienced Missouri criminal defense attorney to successfully navigate the expungement process. In the meantime, here are some quick facts on Missouri’s new expungement law that can help you determine whether an expungement is right for you.
- Not all crimes can be expunged. While the range of crimes that are eligible has increased significantly, some, such as violent offenses, remain ineligible. Speak with a Missouri expungement attorney to determine whether this is an option for you.
- There is a waiting period. Typically, you will need to wait seven years from the disposition date for a felony expungement and three for a misdemeanor expungement. The waiting periods are not explicitly required, however, so consult with an attorney if you want to file a petition for expungement sooner.
- The State of Missouri has 30 days to object to your petition for expungement, meaning the process is not guaranteed. Again, this is a good reason to work with an attorney on your expungement, which will give you the best chance of having your request granted.
- There is a $250 fee for filing the petition. The court may waive this fee if you lack the financial resources.
- You can legally answer NO when asked if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime (at least in regards to the crime expunged) if your crime is expunged. This means you do not have to disclose the conviction when applying for housing or jobs with most employers.
These quick facts should give you an idea of whether an expungement is right for you and an overview of the general process. But for more personalized legal advice and assistance, you should consult with a Missouri expungement attorney about the details of your case. Again, the expungement law is complicated and many crimes are ineligible. An attorney can help you determine whether you are eligible for an expungement and help you complete the process step by step.
If a past offense is holding you back, it pays to have a legal advocate on your side that can help you clear your name. If you need trusted legal guidance in Cass County, Kansas City or the surrounding areas, the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at the Benjamin Law Firm, LLC can help. The attorneys at the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center have the skills and experience needed to guide Missouri residents through some of life’s most challenging moments. Trained at the nationally renowned Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College and mentored under award-winning trial attorney and firm founder Kim Benjamin, you can trust our attorneys will fight with determination to get you the best outcome possible. Call our office at 816-322-8008, email us at email@example.com or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our fierce legal advocates today.