What you need to know about expungement in Missouri

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

A criminal record can affect your life in many ways. From housing to employment and everywhere in between, documentation of past entanglements with the law can alter your future’s trajectory.

Expungement is a powerful legal tool that, when you are eligible, can erase a criminal record and open up more possibilities for your life. Here are some things you need to know about expungement in Missouri.

Criteria for expungement

If a court found you not guilty or the prosecution dismissed the charges that led to your arrest, you may be eligible to apply for record expungement under Missouri statute 610.140. You may also apply for expungement under statute 610.130 if your arrest was for a motor-vehicle offense not involving intoxication or a commercial driver’s license. Some other eligibility requirements include:

  • Not having other convictions or pending charges
  • Not presenting a threat to the public
  • Paying all fines

Missouri statutes also require that the expungement be “consistent with the public welfare and the interests of justice warrant the expungement.”

Waiting periods

Before applying for expungement, you must wait for a specified period between the offense and your application. A misdemeanor arrest or conviction has a three-year waiting period. A felony arrest or conviction carries a seven-year wait time. In cases of expungement denial due to ineligibility or provision of false information, you must wait one year to re-file. The waiting period is ten years if the charge is for a first-time DWI.

Expungement exclusions

Several crimes are not eligible for expungement in Missouri. Violent Class A felonies, dangerous felonies or felonies involving a death, any offense resulting in mandatory sex offender registration, domestic assault and DWI are typically exclusions.

Expungement is often a complicated process. However, the life-changing benefits may outweigh the challenges if you are eligible for this option.


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