Those who have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor know how difficult it can be to overcome the stigma of their criminal record. Finding employment, getting a home loan or other lines of credit, buying a firearm, and several other important facets of normal adult life can be a challenge or, in some cases, impossible because of the criminal record and conviction. Thankfully, there is a legal avenue to explore that may help you eliminate the limitations placed on you because of a felony or misdemeanor.
In the state of Missouri, there is a possibility that you may be able to file for an expungement of your criminal record, depending on the circumstances of your conviction. The expungement lawyers at Deputy & Mizell, L.L.C., have years of experience representing clients with a wide range of different records. As criminal defense attorneys, we understand these cases and know the effects a criminal record can have on an individual and their family. We not only work to defend those accused of crimes, but we also help expunge eligible criminal records. Let our expungement lawyers put our skills and resources to work for you. Contact us today to discuss your situation!
What is an Expungement?
When you file a petition for the expungement of your criminal record and it is approved by the courts, it closes and seals your record so that the general public can no longer access it. The record will only be accessible to the courts, law enforcement agencies, and certain employers.
The petition needs to be filed in the court where you were charged or found guilty of the offense or violation, and all law enforcement agencies, courts, municipal prosecuting attorneys, state repositories of criminal records, or others you believe may possess the records for each item you are seeking to have expunged must be named in the petition.
There are many different felonies and misdemeanors that have the possibility of being expunged from your record, but not all are eligible. It is important to discuss your particular case with an experienced criminal defense attorney to see if your criminal record may be able to be expunged.
When Can Your Record Be Expunged?
Expungement of a criminal record is a serious legal matter and takes a good deal of effort to ensure everything goes smoothly in the process. There are certain requirements that must be met, and the court will consider these criteria critical as it evaluates your case. Once your petition has been filed, the state’s prosecuting attorney has 30 days to object in writing, and the court will then schedule a hearing within 60 days to make a judgment.
One of the most important requirements of the expungement petition is that it has been at least seven years since the conviction for a felony or three years for a misdemeanor, municipal offense, or infraction. It is also required that you have not been found guilty of any other misdemeanor or felony, including traffic violations, and that you do not have any current pending charges. Finally, the court will need to make sure that you have demonstrated that your habits have changed and your conduct is not a threat to the state or community.
Expungements for arrests and convictions of misdemeanors and felonies can be a very challenging process. There is a lengthy list of crimes that cannot be expunged, but some felonies and misdemeanors are eligible to be removed from your record. These are mostly limited to non-violent crimes and certain drug offenses. It is important that you consult with an expert criminal defense attorney to determine whether your record may be eligible for expungement.
Crimes Not Eligible for Expungement
Expunging a criminal record is not suitable or applicable to all types of crimes, and the list of those crimes that cannot be expunged is fairly lengthy. Under Missouri law, the following are NOT eligible for expungement:
- Class A violent felonies
- Dangerous felonies (defined on line 19 of section 556.061)
- Offenses which require registration as a sex offender
- Domestic assault
- Felony kidnapping
- Driving while intoxicated
- Felony offense where death is involved
- And many others
Experienced criminal defense attorneys such as ours at Deputy & Mizell are here to determine if your criminal record may be expunged. If you believe that your felony or misdemeanor may qualify for expungement and the proper amount of time has passed since the conviction, contact our law firm. We are happy to discuss your case and help you find out if you may be eligible for starting with a clean, fresh record.
Expungement Process in Missouri
The expungement process in Missouri has very clear steps that must be taken in order to ensure the best possible outcome for your case. For your Missouri criminal record expungement, you must follow these steps:
- Be sure the offense you are looking to have expunged from your record is eligible for expungement.
- Name all law enforcement agencies, courts, municipal prosecuting attorneys, state repositories of criminal records, or others you believe may possess the records for each item you are seeking to have expunged.
- Some necessary basic information must also be submitted: name, sex, race, driver’s license, current address, each offense you are requesting expungement of and the approximate date you were charged with each offense, the name of the county you were charged in for each offense, and the case number for each offense (our attorneys can help find this court-based information).
- The clerk of the court will notify the prosecuting attorney who then has 30 days to object in writing.
- The court will schedule a hearing within 60 days of the filing to determine whether or not the expungement should and will take place as it considers several areas of criteria such as the time frame (7 years for felony, 3 for misdemeanor), other convictions, pending charges, and your threat level to public welfare.
- Once the court has reached the decision to expunge your record, those files will be confidential and limited to certain parties for access, not the general public.
At Deputy & Mizell, L.L.C., we can assist you through each of these steps to help you obtain the best possible outcome. If you believe that you may be eligible for an expungement of your criminal record, the forms to begin the process can be accessed here. Be sure to contact our experienced criminal defense law firm to discuss your case and to get the process in motion.
Speak to Our Missouri Expungement Lawyers.
If you aren’t sure whether your files can be expunged, the knowledgeable attorneys at Deputy & Mizell can help determine if you are eligible. We serve clients in the Lake of the Ozarks region and beyond. You can reach our expungement lawyers by phone at 417-532-2191 or toll-free at 1-877-532-2191. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.CONTACT US | SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION