For many, their first and possibly only brush with the law comes in the form of drunk driving charges. It may have been a one-time lapse in judgement, but with so much at stake, a person charged with DWI for the first time might want to avoid having a stain on their criminal record. Fortunately, in Missouri, in some cases it is possible to have a DWI charge expunged.

What is the effect of an expungement?

To expunge a DWI charge means that the individual no longer must acknowledge under any circumstances that they were placed under arrest for DWI. This can be especially important if a person is applying for a job or housing, where they may be required to disclose any crimes they have committed.

To expunge a first-time DWI, there must be an expungement hearing in the court where the plea was entered or sentencing took place. It is important to note that a person can only expunge a DWI once.

What happens to expunged records?

Ideally, expunged records would be destructed. However, at a minimum, when a record is expunged, the individual’s name, address and any other identifying information will be blacked out on all court records, as well as the expungement records.

A criminal record can impact a person’s life for years. It is natural that people would want to do whatever it takes to avoid incurring a criminal record. In the case of a first-time DWI charge, however, expungement offers a means for having the records destroyed or blacked out, leaving the person with a clean record moving forward. Cass County attorneys understand that facing a judge can be an intimidating experience and may be a useful resource.