Everyone with a serious crime on their record knows how much of a limitation it can be. Criminal convictions can limit job opportunities, education opportunities and much more. That’s why it comes as such a relief to learn that, in some circumstances, you can get an expungement of your criminal record – meaning that the state will erase all traces of your conviction from your record and allow you to start fresh.
Which crimes qualify for expungement?
Missouri law outlines the types of crimes that do not qualify for expungement. These are typically offenses that involve violence, such as felony assault, domestic violence, kidnapping, robbery in the second degree and burglary in the first degree. Sexual offenses also cannot be expunged.
The types of crimes that most often qualify for expungements are minor theft crimes, drug possession and non-sexual misdemeanor offenses.
What is the expungement process like?
The first step of the expungement process is to pay any fines and serve any prison sentence or parole associated with the criminal conviction. After that, you must wait the statutory period, which is three years for a felony or one year for a misdemeanor. Your criminal record must remain clean during this waiting period.
Once the waiting period has passed, you must return to the court where your original criminal trial took place. You can file a petition for expungement yourself, or you can hire an attorney to complete it and file it for you. Then you must attend an expungement hearing. After the hearing, the court will rule on whether your offense qualifies for expungement or not.
The expungement of a criminal record is a breath of fresh air for someone who is trying to turn over a new leaf and get ahead in life. With a clean record, you will be able to pursue all of the opportunities that were previously closed to you due to your prior conviction.