Good news for Missourians that have passed bad checks, used a forged credit card or committed other types of crimes. Governor Jay Nixon has signed a law that allows for expungement of certain criminal records. Criminal defendants will need to wait 20 years for a felony and 10 years for a misdemeanor and have completed their prison terms, probation and parole. Defendants are not eligible if they have committed a subsequent crime. Missouri Revised Statute §610.140, “Expungement of certain criminal records, petition, contents, procedure,” can be found here.
Please note that to have an ARREST record expunged, this is a different process. A copy of a Petition for Expungement of Arrest Records can be found here.
To have a criminal record expunged, defendants need to file a petition that includes the following:
- Names of all law enforcement agencies, courts, prosecuting attorneys, repositories of criminal records and others believed to possess the records. Anyone not named will not be required to delete their records.
- Full legal name.
- Driver’s license number.
- Type of offense.
- Case number.
- Date of arrest.
- County of arrest.
A fee off $100 is required for each petition. Upon filing the petition, a judge will hold a hearing to determine if the petition meets the requirements and if the record will be expunged
What Happens After Expungement:
- Officials possessing records will destroy them.
- Any record related to the crime would be removed from electronic files kept by state officials.
- Files kept by the courts would be sealed and only made available through a court order.
- Rights sacrificed because of a criminal conviction will be restored.
- NOTE: Even after someone’s criminal history has been expunged, the crime would be considered a previous offense if the person commits another crime.
List of Missouri Offenses That May be Expunged:
Felonies and Misdemeanors:
- Passing a bad check
- Fraudulently stopping payment of an instrument
- Fraudulent use of a credit device or debit device
- Negligent setting of a fire
- Tampering in the second degree (joyriding among other things)
- Property damage
- Peace disturbance
- Drunkeness/Drinking in schools, churches and courthouses
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The State of Missouri Courts System provides the following information on its website. Please note that the information below was not written by The Mutrux Law Firm and is merely written for the convenience of the reader.
Petition for Expungement of Arrest/Plea/Trial/Conviction(s): This form is used to ask the court to order agencies that have arrest/plea/trial/conviction(s) pertaining to specific incidents in which the applicant was involved to destroy those records pursuant to section 610.140, RSMo. All agencies that may have records must be identified by checking the appropriate box(es) under “Defendant(s).” A $100 surcharge will be assessed when the petition is filed with the court. The following offenses are eligible to be expunged when such offenses occurred and were prosecuted in the state of Missouri.
• Any felony or misdemeanor offense of passing a bad check (§570.120, RSMo)
• Any felony or misdemeanor offense of fraudulently stopping payment of an instrument (§570.125, RSMo)
• Any felony or misdemeanor offense of fraudulent use of a credit device or debit device (§570.130, RSMo)
• Any misdemeanor offense of negligent burning or exploding (§569.065, RSMo)
• Any misdemeanor offense of negligently setting fire to crops or grassland (§569.067, RSMo)
• Any misdemeanor offense of tampering in the 2nd degree (§569.090, RSMo)
• Any misdemeanor offense of property damage in the 2nd degree (§569.120.1(1), RSMo only)
• Any misdemeanor offense of trespass in the 1st degree (§569.140, RSMo)
• Any misdemeanor offense of trespass on marked property in the 1st degree (§569.145, RSMo)
• Any misdemeanor offense of gambling (§572.020, RSMo)
• Any misdemeanor offense of private peace disturbance (§574.020, RSMo)
• Any misdemeanor offense of drunkenness or drinking in certain prohibited places (§574.075, RSMo)
• Any class B or C misdemeanor offense of peace disturbance (§574.010, RSMo)
The following criteria must be met for each offense listed in the petition to be expunged. If all criteria is not met for all offenses listed in the petition for expungement, the petition will be dismissed by the court and you can not refile another petition until a year has passed since the filing of the first petition. Only one expungement can be granted from the same court.
• It has been at least 20 years if the offense was a felony or at least 10 years if the offense was a misdemeanor, municipal offense, or infraction since the person making the application completed:
(a) Any sentence of imprisonment;
(b) Any period of probation or parole;
• The person has not been found guilty of a misdemeanor or felony, not including violations of the traffic regulations provided under chapters 304 and 307, RSMo during the time period specified for the underlying offense;
• The person has paid any amount of restitution ordered by the court;
• The circumstances and behavior of the petitioner warrant the expungement;
• The expungement is consistent with public welfare.