Do you have a few wild oats that always come back to haunt you when you fill out a new job application or apply to rent an apartment? Maybe a DWI or perhaps a MIP (minor in possession) charge? Due to recent changes in Missouri law, you may now qualify to have your criminal charges expunged from your record.
Perhaps, like me, you’ve never heard of the term “expunge” before. A quick peek at dictionary.com gives us a brief definition. “to strike or blot out: erase; obliterate”.
What if this happened to your criminal record? Wouldn’t it feel good to start 2018 with a clean slate?
Imagine not having to tell a potential employer of your one and only DWI ! That may just make life a whole lot easier for you.
You could answer “no” to committing a felony or misdemeanors in many situations as long as you are a one-time offender. Your court and criminal records would be sealed. No snoops allowed.
( Applying for a job in law enforcement or banking, for example? You will still have to disclose your record to your potential employer.)
The good news is that the state of Missouri has recently greatly expanded the list of felonies and misdemeanors they will expunge.
The Columbia Tribune reports that about 1,900 different felonies or misdemeanors will now be eligible to be expunged.
While not everyone with a misdemeanor on their record will qualify to have their criminal record expunged, many more folks than were allowed before can apply and start the process in 2018.
Only one felony in a lifetime or two misdemeanors or ordinance violations can be expunged.
You may need to be patient, especially for alcohol-related offenses.
If you have a DWI on your record, you will have to keep your record squeaky clean for ten years before getting it expunged in court.
To get a misdemeanor expunged, the wait is three years from the date of completion of your sentence, parole, or probation. This is FAR better than the former ten year wait to get a misdemeanor off of your record.
Other felonies will normally require a seven year wait for your clean slate.
What are some types of felonies or misdemeanors NOT eligible to be expunged?
- Violent crimes
- Repeat offenders (more than one DWI, for example)
- Class A felonies
- Sex offenses
- Traffic misdemeanors while driving a commercial vehicle
For someone who made a foolish mistake and learned from it, having your criminal record expunged is a wonderful second chance for a better life.
But you do have to take action. You have to fill out paperwork. You have to show up in court. Most importantly, you do need to avoid any repeat offenses.
You don’t want to mess up this second chance.
You need the legal advice and step-by-step help of an experienced Missouri criminal defense attorney!
The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC will give you a free evaluation of your case. http://steimel-law.com/criminal-defense.html
You don’t have to face your day in court alone. Call 636-244-3737 today to get a great start to 2018!
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