You could be able to get your drug conviction off your criminal record starting in 2018.
A new expungement law goes into effect on January 1, 2018. Those who’ve been convicted of drug crimes will likely be eligible for expungement. Under Missouri law, expungement is the process of sealing a criminal record and only having to disclose it in very specific situations. There are two types of drug cases. There are misdemeanor drug offenses, which are predominantly related to marijuana and felony drug cases.
Misdemeanor Drug Cases
Misdemeanor drug offenses often involve marijuana less than an ounce. This includes municipal ordinance violations and violations of state statutes. Further, there are often times misdemeanor drug paraphernalia offenses that can be related to both, felony drug possession and misdemeanor drug possession. If you’ve ever paid a fine for misdemeanor drug offense, been on probation or gone to jail for misdemeanor drug offense, or have pled guilty, you may be eligible to expunge that record.
In order to be able to expunge a misdemeanor drug offense, you have to have been off probation for at least three years. If you paid a fine or went to jail, it must be three years since the completion of the payment of the fine or the jail sentence. So, if you pled guilty back in January of 2013, to a misdemeanor drug offense and you were on probation for two years, then you would be eligible at the beginning of January of 2018 to expunge that arrest. If you have any questions or concerns about expunging a misdemeanor drug offense, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.
General Rule: Misdemeanors pled before 2013 are eligible for expungement of criminal record.
Expungement of Felony Drug Offense
Before 2018, there was no ability to expunge a felony drug offense. This means that if you’ve ever pled guilty to a felony drug offense, it was on your record for the rest of your life. However, the new criminal record expungement law allows for expungement of a felony drug offense if you’ve been off probation or been out of jail for over seven (7) years. This means that if you completed your probation before January 1, 2011, you’re eligible to expunge your felony drug case.
This includes felony possession of controlled substance and felony distribution charges. It is important to note that if you have one or more felony convictions, you may not be eligible for expungement. If you have any questions about felony expungement, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.
General Rule: Felonies pled before 2006 are eligible for expungement of criminal record.
This new law opens the door to cleaning up a criminal record and for shedding the stigma of an individual with a drug conviction. This law will allow for many thousands of people who have had a marijuana or drug conviction on their public record to erase the lifelong consequences of having a misdemeanor or felony conviction in their past. Often times the stigma of a drug conviction can prevent somebody from getting anything from a job to a loan to buy a house or a car. It is important that people who are eligible to expunge these drug convictions take the necessary steps as expunge these arrests, pleas of guilty and/or convictions.
If you have any questions or concerns about the expungement process, please do not hesitate to contact our office and we’ll be happy to assist you in any way possible.