Missouri has a new expungement law going into effect this January. It allows people to get convictions expunged from their criminal record. The time people have to wait to apply for expungement has been reduced, too. This will open a lot of doors for people who might not have been able to get a job, housing, get a loan, or volunteer their time because of a previous conviction.
Applying to have convictions expunged from your record can be overwhelming to take on alone. You need a Columbia criminal defense lawyer that you can depend on. Thomas Law Offices is ready to help you fight for your rights. We’ll make sure you’re meeting the requirements to get convictions expunged from your record.
What Crimes Can Be Expunged?
The new law doesn’t cover every single type of conviction. The more serious crimes aren’t included in this law. Crimes like felony or misdemeanor domestic assault, hate crimes, harming or putting a child in danger, and identity theft are not able to be expunged. Class A felonies such as kidnapping or sexual assault cannot be expunged.
Driving infractions that involve alcohol and non-alcohol related infractions can be expunged from someone’s record. As the expungement process moves forward, your request to have the conviction expunged will not lead to complete destruction of the file, but the file will be marked as expunged and will no longer be public knowledge.
This will change the lives of many people living in Missouri. People who have a criminal record can have an extremely difficult time having fair access to things that help people be productive members of society. A low chance of getting a quality job might force people to take low-paying jobs and cause financial stress. This frustrating situation could lead a person to a point of desperation where they might think about breaking the law again because they don’t see any other options. But the expungement will allow people to apply for more jobs and have a higher change of getting better jobs in the future.
What Are the Expungement Requirements?
There’s an application process to request the expungement of convictions. There is a number of requirements that Missouri applicants need to meet:
- A minimum of 3 years have to have passed from the sentence completion date, finished probation/parole, and paid all fines to expunge a misdemeanor. The number is 7 years for a felony.
- The person applying can’t have another charge against them in that period of 3 or 7 years, or have a current charge.
- Taking public welfare and the law into account, the person has to show the court that his/her habits and conduct since the conviction make him/her a candidate for expungement. This part of the process is really important.
Missouri has this expungement law so people can have new opportunities. It shows that people can learn and evolve from past mistakes. Because they’ve paid their debt to society, they shouldn’t have to continue to pay for it the rest of their lives. They’ll be able to benefit society and bring value to their communities.
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