Understanding Criminal Expungements in Missouri
The American criminal justice system is not designed to merely punish individuals convicted of crimes. It is intended to rehabilitate offenders and to promote productive, law-abiding lives. One of the strongest examples of this foundational pillar of rehabilitation is the legal process known as expungement. An expungement is a legal method individuals with past criminal convictions can use to remove the conviction from their record.
Who is eligible for an expungement?
In the state of Missouri, certain criminal convictions can be expunged. Convictions for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), for example, are among the most commonly expunged criminal offenses. Motorists with these alcohol-related driving offenses can expunge their first and only conviction after ten years. They will only be eligible if they have not received another conviction within the ten year period. Motorists who have been convicted of DUI or DWI with a commercial license cannot expunge the conviction. If someone meets the requirements in place, they may file a petition for expungement in the court in which they were convicted.
What are the benefits of an expungement?
Expungements provide new opportunities in life that criminal records may have closed or restricted. This means that individuals who have had their criminal record expunged can more confidently apply for jobs knowing that most employers will not see their criminal history. The same may hold true for individuals applying to higher education.
Learn More About Expungement from a St. Louis Criminal Defense Lawyer
Although recidivism remains an increasingly concerning problem throughout the country, it is important for everyone to understand the importance of rehabilitation within our justice system, as well as the various opportunities available for a fresh start. At The Hammer Law Firm, our legal team has helped many clients find this fresh start through expungements. Arrest records can also be expunged under certain circumstances and our attorneys are extremely knowledgeable and effective in this practice area.
In the past, we've helped clients expunge a variety of convictions and arrests, including:
- Theft and stealing
- Property damage
- Drug possession
- Unlawful use of a weapon
If you have questions about expungement, your eligibility, and how our firm can help, call 314-334-3807 to request a FREE consultation.