Getting a criminal record expunged is often a good idea because it can reduce a conviction's effect on your future. Criminal convictions can limit your options for employment and housing. Some charges can even affect your ability to see or visit your children.
Do not speak to police without an attorney present.

What is Criminal Expungement?

If you have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor and would like for the record to be sealed, you may be eligible for an expungement in Missouri. The legislature has recently passed an initiative that reduces the amount of time required between a conviction and eligibility to have the record sealed. Previously, this amount of time was seven (7) years for a felony and three (3) years for a misdemeanor, while the new law reduces the time to three (3) years for a felony and just one (1) year for a misdemeanor. The “clock” for eligibility begins on the date which the sentence is completed, and all requirements have been satisfied for probation. 

Certain offenses such as Class A felonies, felony assault charges, and domestic violence remain ineligible for expungement, but the legislature has increased the overall number of eligible offenses. While it may sound straight forward, there are several intricacies in the law which may be confusing for those without legal training, and it is highly recommended to be represented by counsel in seeking an expungement as failing to follow the formalities may delay the process or prevent refiling for one year.

If you have been charged with an assault crime, call The Law Offices of Benjamin Arnold at (913) 777-HELP or contact us here.

There are several benefits of having a criminal record expunged:

•The record is made non-public and only accessible by certain entities     

•Truthfully answer “no” on (most) job applications asking about prior convictions

 •Restore your civil rights, including voting and 2nd amendment rights

•Better access to rental housing and credit

•Qualify for college and student loans 

Can all Criminal Charges be Expunged?

In general, you cannot expunge more than two misdemeanor records and one felony during your lifetime. Certain crimes cannot be expunged. Examples include:

  • Domestic assault
  • Class A violent felonies
  • Dangerous felonies
  • Offenses that require sex offender registration

There might be other limitations to what you can expunge based on your criminal history and other unique circumstance that apply to you.

Start Fresh

If you have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor and would like for the record to be sealed, you may be eligible for an expungement in Missouri. The legislature has recently passed an initiative that reduces the amount of time required between a conviction and eligibility to have the record sealed. Previously, this amount of time was seven (7) years for a felony and three (3) years for a misdemeanor, while the new law reduces the time to three (3) years for a felony and just one (1) year for a misdemeanor. The “clock” for eligibility begins on the date which the sentence is completed, and all requirements have been satisfied for probation. 

Certain offenses such as Class A felonies, felony assault charges, and domestic violence remain ineligible for expungement, but the legislature has increased the overall number of eligible offenses. While it may sound straight forward, there are several intricacies in the law which may be confusing for those without legal training, and it is highly recommended to be represented by counsel in seeking an expungement as failing to follow the formalities may delay the process or prevent refiling for one year. 

The Process

Filing a petition to expunge criminal convictions is a detailed process which requires notice to all parties which hold the records sought to be sealed. An improperly filed petition could lead to undue delay or even denial of an expungement order, and determining eligibility can be complicated if someone has multiple charges on their record. After making contact with my office, I will send you a packet to fill out to the best of your ability prior to our initial consultation. At our initial consultation, we will discuss your goals for expungement and determine whether it is feasible to file a petition. If you are statutorily ineligible for an expungement, but may be at a later date, we will discuss a plan for the future. I will also give you my honest opinion on how an expungement may or may not align with your goals and reason for seeking expungement.

If we do determine to pursue the expungement, I will have you sign my engagement letter and collect a small retainer to begin work on your case. Depending on the circumstances, the petition may be granted without objection, or may require a hearing if the prosecution objects. My fee includes a complimentary follow-up after an expungement order is granted so I can explain the effect of the expungement and address other concerns you may have.

Other Practice Areas
Recent Posts

Know Your Rights

If you have been charged with a person crime in Missouri, it is important to invoke your 5th amendment rights to counsel and remain silent. If the charges result from an illegal stop or search, they may be subject to dismissal for violating the 4th amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure. It is important to consult with an attorney before accepting a plea or admitting guilt in any way.