An expunged record is not publicly accessible and would require a court order to reopen the record.
We are all better than our worst mistakes, and now, for many individuals, there’s an opportunity to have those mistakes erased from public view. Over the last several years, the Missouri Legislature has dramatically increased the opportunity for many people who have criminal records to have those convictions expunged.
Expungement is a court-ordered process in which the legal record of an arrest or a criminal conviction is “forgotten.” Another way to see it is erasing a record in the eyes of the law or setting aside a criminal conviction.
Individuals who committed certain crimes may have those offenses sealed under Missouri’s expungement law, lifting a huge stress off their shoulders and opening the door to potential opportunities, especially when it comes to employment.
Before the new laws took effect, only about a dozen offenses qualified for expungement; today, more than 1,900 qualify.
Expungement is when the court seals a criminal record. An expunged record is not publicly accessible and would require a court order to reopen the record. Individuals who have had crimes expunged do not have to disclose those crimes except in specific instances outlined in §610.140 RSMo.
In general, while many crimes are eligible for expungement, some are not. Those that are ineligible for expungement include class A felonies; offenses that require individuals to register as sex offenders; felony offenses where death was part of the offense; felony assault offenses; misdemeanor or felony offenses for domestic assault; and felony conviction for kidnapping. There are other crimes that do not fall under these categories that are also ineligible for expungement.
Depending on the severity of the crime, the offense could cause issues when someone applies for employment, business loans, student loans, housing, and more. In other circumstances, there could be a stigma attached to certain crimes, and expungement allows individuals to have their rights restored.
If you have questions about an old offense and whether an expungement is available, we can help.
Work Cited “Missouri Expungement Law: What does it mean to seal a record, and how do you do it?” The Missouri Bar, April 6,2021, www.mobar.org.
Individuals who committed certain crimes may have those offenses sealed under Missouri’s expungement law, opening the door to potential opportunities, especially when it comes to employment.