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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:

  1. Not all crimes in Missouri can be expunged under the new statute.

  2. The petition must be filed in the court where you were charged or found guilty of any offenses, violations, or infractions.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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:

  1. Petitions for expungement may be filed in any Missouri court in which such person was charged or found guilty.

  2. Petitioners must list all offenses that he or she is seeking to have expunged.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Violation of laws regulating operation of a motor vehicle by an individual who holds a commercial driver’s license cannot be expunged.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Expungement of arrest records cannot occur sooner than three years after an arrest.

  9. Once an order of expungement is entered the underlying court file must be closed.

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

It depends.

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

  1. Any class A felony offense;

  2. Any dangerous felony as that term is defined in section 556.061;

  3. Any offense that requires registration as a sex offender;

  4. Any felony offense where death is an element of the offense;

  5. Any felony offense of assault; misdemeanor or felony offense of domestic assault; or felony offense of kidnapping;

  6. 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

  1. Any offense eligible for expungement under section 577.054** or 610.130;

  2. 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;

  3. Any ordinance violation that is the substantial equivalent of any offense that is not eligible for expungement under this section; and

  4. 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.

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