This page was designed to help our clients better understand our Missouri Conviction Expungement service. You will find answers to the questions we are most frequently asked. If your question is related to eligibility requirements please take the free online eligibility test.
We can help you obtain the records and evaluate your eligibility under Missouri law.
Under Missouri law, you may expunge up to one felony conviction and two misdemeanor convictions, or just 3 misdemeanor convictions.
The judge will consider objective eligibility criteria, including whether an expungement is consistent with public welfare and the interest of justice. The judge will also make sure that all obligations have been satisfied and that any fines or restitution have been paid.
The process to expunge a record can take six to twelve months. Of course, there is no guarantee on the time frame because we cannot control how quickly the court acts on your petition.
Courts usually review cases on a first come, first served basis.
Typically, you will not be required to go to court. One of our expert attorneys will go for you. However, if the court does request your presence and you are unable to attend, we will request that your presence be excused.
It can take several months for your records to disappear and for background check agencies to update their records. However, we do offer an Expedited Record Clearance Update Service. We will help in clearing your record from over 600 background check agencies by notifying them. Typically, they will then update their records within 14 days.
An expungement should restore your right to own firearms under Missouri state law because it removes almost all collateral consequences of the conviction. See RSMo 610.140(8).
Beginning August 28, 2021, SB 53 and SB 60, strengthened the language to specifically mention federal law in an attempt to restore federal firearm rights following a Missouri Expungement. Previously, the Department of Justice with the FBI who operates the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) did not honor a Missouri expungement as a means to restore federal firearm rights. It is unknown at this time whether this change to Missouri law will be recognized as restoring firearm rights under federal law. Therefore, even after an expungement you may still be banned under federal law from purchase or possession of a firearm.
Furthermore, a Missouri expungement cannot remove the federal firearm bans for misdemeanor domestic violence convictions.
An expungement order may be denied if you do not meet the criteria for the offense or there is false information in the petition.
You may apply for a pardon, however a pardon will not expunge a record. A pardon will restore all rights and relieve legal disqualifications.
Even if you are granted an expungement, you may still have to disclose your case in certain situations, including when it it necessary to complete an application for a license, certificate, or permit needed to practice your profession, any license issued under chapter 313 or permit issued under 571, any employment with a state-operated lottery, emergency services provider, law enforcement agency, a federally insured bank, insurance company, or if the employer is required to exclude applicants with certain criminal convictions due to federal or state law.
The right to vote is automatically restored when you are discharged from your sentence, unless the charge is connected with the right of suffrage. If this is the case, you will need to obtain a pardon.
If you are convicted of a felony, you are permanently barred from serving as a juror unless you receive a pardon.
Under Missouri law, the following persons are disqualified from serving as a petit or grand juror: (1) Any person who is less than twenty-one years of age; (2) Any person not a citizen of the United States; (3) Any person not a resident of the county or city not within a county served by the court issuing the summons; (4) Any person who has been convicted of a felony, unless such person has been restored to his civil rights; (5) Any person unable to read, speak and understand the English language, unless such person's inability is due to a vision or hearing impairment which can be adequately compensated for through the use of auxiliary aids or services; (6) Any person on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States or any member of the organized militia on active duty under order of the governor; (7) Any judge of a court of record; (8) Any person who, in the judgment of the court, is incapable of performing the duties of a juror because of mental or physical illness or infirmity. (Missouri Revised Statute 494.425).
Yes. Expunged cases are removed from all electronic files maintained with the state of Missouri, except for the files of the court. The records and files maintained for any offense ordered expunged become confidential and only available to the parties or by order of the court. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 610.140(7))
No. In the state of Missouri, any offense that requires registration as a sex offender is not eligible for expungement. Therefore, an expungement cannot be a means of relief for the registration requirement. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 610.140(2))
The Canadian government has entered into an information sharing agreement with the United States, so the Canadian government has access to whatever information the United States has on file. The benefit of expungement is that it will show the Canadian government that the matter was resolved and is no longer considered a conviction. This will improve the odds of being granted entry into Canada.
The Border Patrol has discretion to grant or deny a Sentri pass application; therefore the best thing to do is to clear your record as much as possible before applying for a pass, as it could be the difference between having your request accepted or denied.
Since each case is unique, it is important to get a case-by-case analysis tailored to your specific facts. This will allow you to know if your criminal case is affecting your immigration case and/or if an expungement or reduction could help. To discuss your case with our in-house immigration attorney, please call 714-617-8395.
A person’s rights restored upon issuance of the order of expungement. Except in certain circumstances, the effect of an expungement restores a person to the status he or she occupied prior to such arrests, pleas, trials, or convictions as if such events had never taken place. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 610.140(8)) Expunged cases are removed from all electronic files maintained with the state of Missouri, except for the files of the court. The records and files maintained for any offense ordered expunged become confidential and only available to the parties or by order of the court. The central repository shall request the Federal Bureau of Investigation to expunge the records from its files. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 610.140(7)) If you have been granted an expungement, you may answer “no” to an employer's inquiry into whether you have ever been convicted of a crime. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 610.140(10))
A person’s rights restored upon issuance of the order of expungement. Except in certain circumstances, the effect of an expungement restores a person to the status he or she occupied prior to such arrests, pleas, trials, or convictions as if such events had never taken place. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 610.140(8)) Expunged cases are removed from all electronic files maintained with the state of Missouri, except for the files of the court. The records and files maintained for any offense ordered expunged become confidential and only available to the parties or by order of the court. The central repository shall request the Federal Bureau of Investigation to expunge the records from its files. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 610.140(7))
After an issuance of an expungement, a persons record becomes closed. Although closed records are not generally available to the public, a persons record will remain available to criminal justice agencies and to a number of public entities for the screening of applicants for professional licenses or employment in sensitive areas such as private security, law enforcement, and care of children, the elderly, and the disabled. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 610.140(9))
After an expungement your case becomes closed. Generally, closed records are not available to the public, but your record will remain available to criminal justice agencies for use in screening out applicants for professional licenses or employment in sensitive areas such as law enforcement. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 610.140(9)) Therefore, a person will not necessarily be disqualified from becoming a police officer, however, enforcement agencies are not prevented from considering their record, even after an expungement.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Act Section 19 allows banks to bar individuals that have had “Breach of Trust” or "Dishonesty" conviction from positions that they would otherwise be qualified for. This prohibition applied even if the conviction has been expunged. Whether a crime involves dishonesty or breach of trust will be determined from the elements of the crime itself as defined in the statute. If you think you may have been were denied a position or were terminated from a bank because of one of a “breach of trust” or "dishonesty" conviction, then you may be able seek a waiver from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). It is important to speak with an attorney about your specific circumstances to see if you would qualify for such a waiver, which would allow you to hold a job with a bank or other financial institution.
We do not handle federal cases. Only certain federal criminal cases are eligible to be expunged. Typically, you have to show that the conviction was wrongful or unconstitutional. Additionally, a person can apply for a pardon through the President.
Judgments may be set aside for irregularity, if it is challenged within three years of when the judgment was rendered. (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 511.250). However, successfully challenging a judgment is improbable, and the best option for relief is likely through an expungement.
Generally yes. Most driving infractions may be set aside.
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Law Firm of Higbee & Associates
107 W. 9th Street
Kansas City, MO. 64105
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