People throughout Missouri have a criminal record that affects their everyday lives. Washington is no exception. You or someone you know may be unable to get a good-paying job, find a place to live, or get a bank loan because of something that happened years or decades ago.
Expungement is the process of legally erasing an arrest or conviction from a person’s criminal record. In Missouri, you can ask the court to expunge certain types of crimes from your record. But not everything can be expunged, and qualifying is not automatic. Here are some things you should know if you are thinking about pursuing an expungement.
Not every charge can be expunged in Missouri
First, the law excludes several crimes from expungement. This includes felony-level assault, domestic violence, kidnapping and second-degree robbery. No class A felony can be expunged. Thus, the specific thing you were convicted for makes a big difference in your chances of getting an expungement.
There is also a waiting period included in the statute. You must wait seven years after a felony conviction and three years following a misdemeanor conviction before you can petition for an expungement. Finally, you do not get unlimited chances to expunge things from your record. You can only expunge one felony and two misdemeanors.
Help getting through the expungement process
If an old conviction or arrest is continuing to haunt your life, expungement could be the answer. But as you can see, the process contains several rules and restrictions. Fortunately, a defense attorney’s guidance can help you avoid mistakes that could derail your efforts to move on from your past.