Being convicted of a crime comes with consequences that can linger well after you have paid your dues. Your criminal record may show up whenever someone runs your background check and may hurt your chances of landing a job, renting an apartment or taking out a mortgage.

Fortunately, the State of Missouri allows for certain individuals to wipe arrests and convictions from their records. The term is “expungement,” and it can offer a second chance for those who manage to stay out of further trouble.

Who can get an expungement?

Missouri allows for the expungement of most offenses but makes many exceptions. These exceptions are mostly for dangerous felonies, DUIs and vehicular violations committed by anyone with a commercial driver’s license.

There are also several criteria need to meet before they can apply to have their records expunged:

  • Pay all associated fines and complete all associated restitution.
  • Avoid any further charges or convictions.
  • Wait the designated amount of time after satisfying the sentence.

People who meet these requirements can complete the application to have their records expunged. The court then looks to see if the applicant might be a threat to public safety or if the expungement runs against the best interest of the public welfare. If not, the court can grant an expungement.

A second chance

When your records are expunged, the courts close or remove the files, and they should no longer show in background checks, such as those most employers or landlords might conduct.

Government agencies like the courts and law enforcement will still be able to access records