Access to Justice: Trial Lawyers
Your Guide to Missouri Expungement
The Expungement Missouri Cheat Sheet
If you’re applying for criminal record expungement in Missouri, here’s what you need to know:
Not all crimes in Missouri can be expunged under the new statute.
The petition must be filed in the court where you were charged or found guilty of any offenses, violations, or infractions.
You must name all law enforcement agencies, courts, municipal prosecuting attorneys, state repositories of criminal records or others you believe may possess the records for each item you are seeking to have expunged.
There is likely a period of time after a conviction you must wait before applying for an expungement. The statute implies that you must wait seven (7) years for a felony and three (3) years for a misdemeanor, but it does not explicitly demand this, so there may be hope for procuring it sooner than expected.
The State has 30 days to file objections to your petition and a court must hold a hearing within 60 days following the objection or 30 days after filing if no objection.
There is a $250 application fee, unless the applicant is certified to be a poor person
If you are successful, you will be allowed to maintain that you have never been convicted of the crime(s) that were expunged.
On July 9, 2019, Governor Mike Parsons signed into law Senate Bill 1. The bill adds to the list of convictions that can be expunged under Missouri’s expungement statute. Convictions for property damage in the 1st degree, stealing, possession of a forging instrumentality, and fraudulent use of a credit or debit device are now eligible for expungement provided other requirements applicable to all expungement petitions are met.
The new law answers a major criticism of the initial expungement law that prohibited expungement of stealing and stealing related convictions. Under the old law, 2nd-degree burglary could be expunged but stealing could not, even though the object of most burglaries is stealing. Lawmakers ultimately chose to level the playing field by making non-violent stealing crimes eligible for expungement.
Expungement in Missouri Overview
Senate Bill 588 passed both houses of the Missouri Legislature in the spring of 2016 and was signed by Governor Jay Nixon on July 13, 2016. It went into effect on January 1, 2018 and many Missourians for the first time will have the opportunity to finally shed themselves of prior convictions.
The law was recently updated by Governor Mike Parsons on July 9, 2019, adding additional non-violent crimes to the list of offenses eligible for expungement. Attorneys litigating expungement cases expect that the law, which goes into effect in late August, will produce a new spate of filings from those who have misdemeanor and felony convictions for stealing and other stealing related crimes.
It won’t help those who have been convicted of child pornography or violent crime, but for thousands, it will be a source of real relief.
The particulars of the new Missouri expungement law include:
Petitions for expungement may be filed in any Missouri court in which such person was charged or found guilty.
Petitioners must list all offenses that he or she is seeking to have expunged.
Convictions that cannot be expunged are (i) Class A felony offenses; (ii) dangerous felonies as defined in section 556.061 of Missouri statutes; (iii) any offense that requires registration as a sex offender; (iii) any felony where death is an element of the offense; any felony offense of assault; (iiii) any misdemeanor or felony of domestic assault; (iiiii) or felony offense of kidnapping and a number of other offenses that fall broadly under the category of crimes against persons.
Also excluded from expungement are intoxication-related offenses. First time DWI offenders can still seek expungement in Missouri after 10 years without additional alcohol-related convictions under section 577.054.
Violation of laws regulating operation of a motor vehicle by an individual who holds a commercial driver’s license cannot be expunged.
Although it doesn’t appear that that there is a time period requirement that must pass before applying, a court “may consider” if seven years have passed in felony cases or three years in misdemeanor cases. Lack of subsequent criminal record, payment of restitution from past convictions and “the petitioner’s habits and conduct” showing that he or she is not a threat to society may also be considered.
The clerk of the court must give notice to the prosecuting attorney, circuit attorney or municipal court prosecuting of the appropriate court when a petition for expungement in Missouri has been filed. Once notified, the prosecuting authority has thirty days to object to the expungement.
Expungement of arrest records cannot occur sooner than three years after an arrest.
Once an order of expungement is entered the underlying court file must be closed.
A person who has been granted an order of expungement may, with regard to the expunged conviction, answer “no” to an employer inquiry as to whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime unless the employer is required to exclude certain people with criminal convictions from employment. If a law mandates the employer to not hire convicted offenders the applicant must answer that they have been convicted of a crime.
A Missouri expungement filing fee of $250.00 must accompany a petition to expunge unless the applicant is certified to be a poor person.
Does this mean I can get an expungement in Missouri?
A close reading of the Missouri expungement legislation (Senate Bill 588) reveals that there are still many impediments to expungement but for crimes against property and drug crimes there is hope. Likewise, to those unfamiliar with the process, there are pitfalls that can discourage applicants. Obviously, the process is defined by law and who better to understand and negotiate its provisions than a lawyer.
We anticipate there will be a high demand for this service and have already begun studying the law to best see how we can take advantage of its provisions for clients. Our team can help you quickly assess if you are eligible for expungement.
If you have questions about whether your criminal conviction is eligible for expungement, the process, or would simply like an experienced trial attorney to handle it all for you, contact us!
List of Crimes in Missouri that Can’t be Expunged
Any class A felony offense;
Any dangerous felony as that term is defined in section 556.061;
Any offense that requires registration as a sex offender;
Any felony offense where death is an element of the offense;
Any felony offense of assault; misdemeanor or felony offense of domestic assault; or felony offense of kidnapping;
Any offense listed, or previously listed, in chapter 566 or sections:
105.454 – Conflicts of interest prohibited
105.478 – Conflicts of interest and lobbying offenses penalties
115.631 – Election offenses and penalties
130.028 – Prohibitions against discrimination and intimidation relating to elections, penalties
188.030– Abortion of viable unborn child prohibited, penalty
188.080 – Abortion performed by other than a physician, a felony
191.667 – Intentionally infecting another person with AIDS, penalt194.425 – Abandonment of a Corpse
217.385 – Assault on corrections officer or property of an offender, penalty
334.245 – Felony of non-physician performing an abortion, penalty
375.991 – Fraudulent insurance act
389.653 – Railroad trespass, misdemeanor and felony (discharges a firearm)
455.538 – Failure to surrender custody, violation of ex parte or full order of protection, penalty
557.035 – Hate crimes, penalty
565.084 – Transferred to 575.095 Tampering with a judicial officer
565.085 – Transferred to 575.115, endangering a corrections employee, visitor or other offender, penalty
565.086 – Transferred to 575.157, assaults on employee of department of mental health, visitor or offender
565.095 – Cross burning, transferred to 575.140 *
565.120 – Kidnapping
565.130 – Kidnapping 3rd degree
565.156 – Child abduction
565.200 – Sexual contact or intercourse with skilled nursing home residents
565.214 – Vulnerable person abuse
566.093 – 1st degree sexual misconduct, penalties
566.111 – Sex with an animal
566.115 – Sexual contact with a nursing facility resident or vulnerable person 1st degree
568.020 – Incest
568.030 – Abandonment of a child 1st degree
568.032 – Abandonment of a child 2nd degree
568.045 – Endangering the welfare of a child 1st degree
568.060 – Abuse or neglect of a child, penalty
568.065 – Genital mutilation of a child, penalty – affirmative defenses
568.080 – Child used in sexual performance, penalties
568.090 – Promoting sexual performance by a child, penalties
568.175 – Trafficking in children – elements of crime – penalty
569.030 – Robbery in the 2nd degree
569.035 – Pharmacy robbery in the 2nd degree
569.040 – Arson in the 1st degree
569.050 – Arson in the 2nd degree
569.055 – Knowingly burning or exploding
569.060 – Reckless burning or exploding
569.065 – Negligent burning or exploding
569.067 – Fire, negligence in setting or allowing fire to escape on cropland, grassland, marsh, prairie, woodland
569.072 – Criminal water contamination (transferred to 577.078)
569.100 – Property damage 1st degree
569.160 – Burglary in the 1st degree
570.025 – Robbery in the 2nd degree
570.030 – Stealing, penalties
570.090 – Forgery
570.100 – Possession of a forging instrumentality
570.130 – Fraudulent use of a credit device
570.180 – Defrauding secured creditors
570.223 – Identity theft – penalty – restitution – other civil remedies – exempted activities
570.224 – Trafficking in stolen identities
570.310 – Mortgage fraud
571.020 – Possession – manufacture – transport – repair – of certain weapons
571.030 – Unlawful use of a weapon
571.060 – Unlawful transfer of weapons
571.063 – Fraudulent purchase of a firearm, penalty, exceptions
571.070 – Possession of firearms unlawful for certain persons
571.072 – Unlawful possession of explosive weapon, penalty
571.150 – Use or possession of a metal-penetrating bullet during the commission of a crime
574.070 – Promoting civil disorder in the 1st degree
574.105 – Crime of money laundering, penalty
574.115 – Making a terroristic threat
574.120 – Making a terrorist threat in the 2nd degree.
574.130 – Agroterrorism – penalty – defenses
575.040 – Perjury
575.095 – Tampering with a judicial officer, penalty
575.153 – Crime of disarming a peace officer or correctional officer, penalty
575.155 – Endangering a corrections employee, visitor, or other offender or prisoner
575.157 – Endangering a mental health employee, visitor or another offender, penalty
575.159 – Aiding a sexual offender – penalty –applicability of section
575.195 – Detention and evaluation of persons alleged to be sexually violent predators – duties of attorney general and department of mental health (this does not appear to be a criminal statute)
575.200 – Escape from custody
575.210 – Escape or attempted escape from confinement – penalty
575.220 – Failure to return to confinement
575.230 – Aiding escape of a prisoner
575.240 – Permitting escape
575.350 – Repealed (looks like it may have been an offense against police animals)
575.353 – Assault on a police animal
577.078 – Crime of water contamination (also referenced in 569.072)
577.703 – Bus hijacking – penalties
577.706 – Planting a bomb or explosive device in or near a bus terminal – threat to commit offense – discharging firearms or hurling missiles – penalties
578.008 – Formerly agroterrorism, now contained in 577.703
578.305 – Bus hijacking, penalties (transferred from to 577.703)
578.310 – Bombs and explosives placed in or near buses or terminals (transferred to 577.706)
632.520 – Offender committing violence against an employee of the department of mental health or employee of a sub-contractor of the department of mental health
Categorical ineligibility: (1) a Class A felony, (2) a dangerous felony as defined in §556.061 RSMo., (3) an offense that requires registration as a sex offender, (4) an offense where death is an element of the offense, (5) a felony offense of assault, (6) a misdemeanor or felony offense of domestic assault, (7) an offense enumerated in section 610.140.2(6) RSMo, the listing of which is attached hereto as Exhibit A, or (7) a felony offense of kidnapping.
* 565.095 – Cross burning, transferred to 575.140 but there is no section 575.140
Any offense eligible for expungement under section 577.054** or 610.130;
Any intoxication-related traffic or boating offense as defined in section 577.001, or any offense of operating an aircraft with an excessive blood alcohol content or while in an intoxicated condition;
Any ordinance violation that is the substantial equivalent of any offense that is not eligible for expungement under this section; and
Any violations of any state law or county or municipal ordinance regulating the operation of motor vehicles when committed by an individual who has been issued a commercial driver’s license or is required to possess a commercial driver’s license issued by this state or any other state.
Your rights are fundamental to your quality of life. If you or someone you know has been convicted of a crime and want to know if you are eligible for an expungement, make the right choice and call us today!
We have offices located at Kansas City metro at 19401 East 40 Highway Suite 130 Independence, MO 64055 and Joplin area at 214 W. 5th St. Joplin, MO 64801.