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Understanding how expungement works

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

A criminal record can follow you for the rest of your life, making it difficult to find work or housing.

Depending on the nature of the offense, it may be possible to have your record expunged, reducing the impact on your life.

Are all convictions eligible for expungement?

Not all crimes are eligible for expungement. Ineligible offenses in Missouri include:

  • Class A felonies
  • Felonies involving a death
  • Crimes that require you to register as a sex offender
  • Misdemeanor or felony domestic assault
  • Felony kidnapping

Sometimes eligibility depends on your circumstances. For example, if you have a commercial driver’s license, motor vehicle offenses may not be eligible for expungement.

What must you do to qualify for expungement?

You can file for expungement if you have paid any fines you owe, completed probation or parole, and passed the designated waiting period without reoffending. The waiting period is three years for a felony expungement and one year for a misdemeanor.

To file, you must pay a $250 fee and file your petition in the county where the conviction occurred.

What does expungement mean for you?

Expungement does not erase your criminal record. It seals your record so it is no longer publicly accessible. A sealed record will not appear on background checks conducted by employers or landlords. Law enforcement can still access your record. Expungement is also not permanent; it is possible for a court to reopen your record.

Not all criminal convictions are eligible for expungement. If you qualify, however, expungement can help you move on with your life after a criminal conviction.