If you have a single DWI or other misdemeanor alcohol related driving offense (DUI or BAC) that is at least ten years old, Missouri law provides a way for most people to make that mistake disappear forever. The effect of an expungement order is to restore you to your status prior to your DWI arrest, plea or conviction–as if such event had never taken place.
Expungement requires filing a petition with the court in which you originally pled guilty or were convicted. You must show during a hearing that you have not been convicted of any alcohol-related driving offense in the prior ten years and have have no alcohol-related enforcement contacts (like a license revocation) during that ten-year period, nor have any alcohol-related driving charges or alcohol-related enforcement actions pending. The court will then order expungement of all official records of your arrest, plea, trial or conviction.
In a nutshell, there are five requirements to receiving a one-time expungement of a DUI/DWI/BAC conviction from a Missouri driving record:
- The driver must apply to the Court in which he or she was convicted of the offense.
- The driver must apply at least 10 years after the date of conviction.
- The driver must not have had any other alcohol-related law enforcements contacts (DUI / DWI / BAC charges). An alcohol-related enforcement contact occurs of the date that the Missouri Department of Revenue sends notice of the alcohol suspension action, not on the effective date of the driver license suspension. Fowler v. Director of Revenue, 823 S.W.2d 134 ( Mo. App. 1992).
- You can only obtain expungement once.
- The Missouri Director of Revenue must be named as a necessary party in an expungement action (even if you file in a Municipal Court).T.L.D. v. Director of Revenue, 864 S.W.2d 933 (Mo. App. 1994). The Missouri Director of Revenue may maintain such records as are necessary to ensure that a person only obtains only one expungementin other words, just because you have expunged the criminal conviction from a Missouri DUI / DWI / BAC charge, it does not mean that it will ever be expunged from the driving record at the Missouri Director of Revenue.
577.054. Alcohol-related driving offenses, expunged from records, when–procedures, effect–limitations
577.054. 1. After a period of not less than ten years, an individual who has pleaded guilty or has been convicted for a first alcohol-related driving offense which is a misdemeanor or a county or city ordinance violation and which is not a conviction for driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and who since such date has not been convicted of any other alcohol-related driving offense may apply to the court in which he or she pled guilty or was sentenced for an order to expunge from all official records all recordations of his or her arrest, plea, trial or conviction. If the court determines, after hearing, that such person has not been convicted of any subsequent alcohol-related driving offense, has no other subsequent alcohol-related enforcement contacts as defined in section 302.525, and has no other alcohol-related driving charges or alcohol-related enforcement actions pending at the time of the hearing on the application, the court shall enter an order of expungement. Upon granting of the order of expungement, the records and files maintained in any administrative or court proceeding in an associate or circuit division of the circuit court under this section shall be confidential and only available to the parties or by order of the court for good cause shown. The effect of such order shall be to restore such person to the status he or she occupied prior to such arrest, plea or conviction and as if such event had never taken place. No person as to whom such order has been entered shall be held thereafter under any provision of any law to be guilty of perjury or otherwise giving a false statement by reason of his or her failure to recite or acknowledge such arrest, plea, trial, conviction or expungement in response to any inquiry made of him or her for any purpose whatsoever and no such inquiry shall be made for information relating to an expungement under this section. A person shall only be entitled to one expungement pursuant to this section. Nothing contained in this section shall prevent the director from maintaining such records as to ensure that an individual receives only one expungement pursuant to this section for the purpose of informing the proper authorities of the contents of any record maintained pursuant to this section.
2. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any 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.
(L. 1989 1st Ex. Sess. H.B. 3 § 2, A.L. 2004 S.B. 1233, et al., A.L. 2005 S.B. 422, A.L. 2010 H.B. 1695, et al.)(2009) Section authorizes courts to expunge all records of a driver’s administrative alcohol suspension and to make those records confidential. S.S. v. Mitchell, 289 S.W.3d 797 (Mo.App. E.D.).