The new Missouri expungement law is a great new tool for many people who have been convicted of past crimes but who want to clear their criminal records for a fresh start.
Perhaps the best feature of the law is that is restores, for the successful applicant, all rights that were lost or “restricted as a collateral consequence” of the criminal record. One example would be the right to own firearms. HOWEVER, that particular area of law is tricky. Speak to an attorney at the law firm of Martin & Wallentine to determine your rights.
Certain convictions cannot be expunged. Examples are dangerous felonies, certain convictions that require registration as a sex offender, and, interestingly, even misdemeanor domestic assault.
There are other requirements. Generally speaking, for misdemeanors at least three years must have lapsed since the applicant has completed any court-authorized disposition, such as probation. If the offense is a felony, at least seven years must have passed.
There can be no pending charges, and there are other requirements as well.
If the statutory requirements for expungement are met, the statute creates a rebuttable presumption that the applicant is entitled to the expungement. That would mean that the burden of proof shifts to anyone opposing the expungement, such as a prosecutor, to show why the expungement should not be granted.
If the expungement is granted, notice is sent to all law enforcement agencies who are parties to the action. Any non-parties are not necessarily bound by the expungement.
There are certain reporting requirements even if the expungement is granted. For example, if the applicant is applying for employment in the gambling, insurance or banking industries, or the applicant is applying for a professional license (doctors, lawyer, engineers, etc.), the applicant must disclose the expunged offense in the application process.
The new Missouri expungement law is a great new tool to help people get their reputations and their lives back after criminal convictions. However, it is exceedingly technical. We do NOT recommend proceeding without an attorney, who can explain the nuances of the law and who can properly present your case to the judge who will decide the expungement matter.
Read What Our Former Clients Have Said
"Professional, informative, and vital in working with the prosecutor to secure the most favorable outcome possible".Barb
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