To be eligible for expungement, under Missouri Law RSMO § 610.140 certain criteria that must be met.
First, in order to expunge your criminal record, you must have an offense that is eligible for expungement. As a general rule, most misdemeanors are eligible for expungement. Felony expungements are a little bit more limited.
Second, the petition for expungement shall name defendants all law enforcement agencies, courts, prosecuting or circuit attorneys, municipal prosecuting attorneys, central state repositories of criminal records or others that the petitioner has reason to believe may possess the record subject to expungement for each of the offenses. This is extremely important because the courts’ order of expungement shall not affect any person or entity not named as defendant in the expungement petition. The petition shall also include the information of the petitioner’s name, sex, race, driver’s license, current address, each offense, which the petitioner is requesting expungement and the approximate date the petitioner was charged with each offense, and the name of the county the petitioner was charged for each offense and the case number of the court for each offense.
Third, the clerk of the court shall give notice to the prosecuting attorney of the petition to expunge a conviction in their jurisdiction. The prosecuting attorney then has 30 days after service to object in writing, to the petition to expunge the arrest. The court will then schedule a hearing usually within 60 days of the filing of the petition to make a determination as to whether the expungement should take place. The court is to consider the following criteria:
- That it has been at least seven years if the offense is a felony or at least three years if the offense is a misdemeanor, municipal offense or infraction, from the date the petitioner completed any authorized disposition imposed in the case.
- The person has not been found guilty of any other misdemeanor or felony, not including violations of traffic regulations during the time period specified in the underlying offense. In other words, if you’ve been found guilty of a new offense since the completion of your probation, you may not be eligible for expungement. The court will also make sure the person has satisfied all obligations relating to any such disposition including any fines or restitution. If you currently are in collections for court costs or restitution, you may not be eligible for expungement.
- You may not be eligible if you currently have charges pending.
- The person requesting expungement also has to demonstrate their habits and conduct are no longer a threat to the safety of the state and that the expungement is consistent with the public welfare and in the interest of justice, warrant the expungement. Fortunately, a pleading by the petitioner that the petitioner meets the requirements of not being a threat to the public safety and that the interests of justice warrant the expungement, will create a rebuttal assumption that the expungement is warranted. If the court determines the person meets all the criteria for expungement for each offense, violation or infraction for each criminal offense, the court shall enter an Order of Expungement. The court will issue an order to expungement and serve it on all parties that would have record of the criminal conviction.
After the court conducts a hearing, the records and files maintained in any administrative or court proceeding, a municipal, associate or circuit court for any offense, infraction or violation, ordered expunged Missouri law shall be confidential and only available to the parties or by order of the court for good cause shown. The central repository shall request the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to expunge these records from its files. It is important to note that the State Court cannot mandate that the FBI expunge the records from their file. In other words, there could still be federal issues in regards to a criminal conviction.
If you have any questions or concerns about the expungement process, please do not hesitate to contact our office.