It’s easy to think that you don’t need an umbrella until it rains. The same is true with the expungement process.
Many individuals do not realize they need expungement until the need it. It has been our experience that people come to our office needing an expungement right away. However, the expungement process can take anywhere from two to six months to complete. That is why it is important to expunge your record as early as possible under Missouri Law.
One scenario we see is that people who have been charged with a new offense want to expunge a prior criminal action. They often say, “I didn’t think it would happen again” or “I had been so careful”. However, Missouri law states that an individual with a pending criminal matter, is ineligible to go through many of the expungement processes. This means failure to expunge a past arrest or conviction could end up becoming permanent because of subsequent criminal convictions. All the more reason to take seal your criminal record as quickly as possible.
Missouri criminal law is subject to the winds of Jefferson City. Meaning that you never know when a law will change. The current expungement law is new, but there are no promises that it will be available for years to come. It is not unheard of for the legislator to change a recently passed law. If your offense is eligible for expungement, you should expunge it as quickly as possible.
Make sure you don’t get caught out in the rain in regards to your criminal convictions. The expungement process offers you the necessary umbrella to make sure you’re shielded from many of collateral consequences of your past criminal convictions. Starting the expungement process as early as possibly puts you in the best situation going forward to remove your criminal record altogether.