St. Louis Expungement Attorneys
Criminal Record Sealing in Missouri
Criminal convictions can have serious and far-reaching consequences that greatly limit a person’s opportunities in life. From employment and housing to professional licensing, having a criminal record can make you a less desirable candidate, or bar your participation entirely.
Fortunately, our laws have shifted to embrace second chances and eliminate barriers for individuals who have made mistakes and “served their time” by allowing them to expunge certain crimes.
In Missouri, expungement is the formal process for sealing a criminal record. It makes certain crimes publicly inaccessible for most purposes and can create new opportunities for individuals who are ready to move on and upward in their lives.
Help From The Hammer Law Firm
At The Hammer Law Firm, our St. Louis expungement lawyers are passionate about helping clients seal past convictions. Criminal law is our bread and butter, and we know how Missouri laws and courts work. We also offer:
- Over 30 years of criminal law experience.
- The insight of former prosecutors.
- Accessibility – we’re always available for our clients.
- Personalized, one-on-one attention.
Discuss your situation, options, and how we can help during a FREE and confidential consultation. Call (314) 334-3807 or contact us online.
Missouri’s Expungement Law
Missouri lawmakers have made tremendous progress in passing legislation to expand the number of expungable offenses and give good people who’ve paid for their mistakes the fair chance they deserve. This includes SB 588, which took effect in 2018, and SBs 53 and 60, which took effect in August 2021.
Under these legislative updates, over 1,900 criminal offenses now qualify for expungement in Missouri.
When a crime is expunged, records of the offense and court proceedings are sealed to the public and can only be accessed by court order or limited types of background checks, such as security clearances. Individuals who expunge a conviction do not have to disclose them in most situations, including most job and housing applications. However, there are some exceptions.
As outlined by RSMo § 610.140, expunged crimes must be disclosed in applications for:
- Professional licenses or permits issued by state
- Concealed carry permits
- Employment with state lottery or gambling boats
- Employment with banks or credit unions
- Employment in insurance businesses
- Jobs required by state or federal law to exclude applicants based on criminal convictions
Am I Able to Expunge My Criminal Record?
Your ability to expunge a criminal conviction will depend on a few factors. Per Missouri law, requirements to file for an expungement include:
- All fines paid
- Completed probation or parole
- At least 3 years since the underlying offense (felony) or 1 years since the offense (misdemeanor, municipal offense, or infraction)
- No new convictions for 3 years (felonies) or 1 year (misdemeanors, municipal offenses, or infractions)
- No pending charges at the time of filing
- Habits and conduct that demonstrate you are not a threat to public safety
Additionally, while Missouri allows most crimes to be expunged, certain crimes are ineligible for expungement. These generally include:
- Class A felonies
- Sex crimes that require sex offender registration
- Felonies involving death
- Felony assaults
- Domestic violence (misdemeanor or felony)
- Felony kidnapping
RSMo § 610.140 lists other non-expungable crimes that fall outside of these examples. An attorney with experience expunging convictions in Missouri can help you better understand whether you qualify.
The Expungement Process
If you qualify for an expungement, you must file a petition with the court. This petition will include personal information and information about the conviction for which you are seeking an expungement. In the petition, you’ll also need to list all law enforcement agencies, courts, and other entities that have records related to the offense so that they can be notified.
After filing the petition, the prosecutor’s office where your case was handled will be given an opportunity to object to the expungement. If the prosecutor’s office objects, a hearing may be held. You can have a lawyer represent you at this hearing and you can submit evidence or testimony in support of expunging your crime
Call For a FREE Consultation: (314) 334-3807
With recent changes to Missouri’s expungement law, now is the time to take advantage of new opportunities to seal past convictions. But while expungement is possible, your ability to seal a conviction still depends on your individual circumstances. Because these are fact-specific matters, the best way to evaluate if you can expunge a criminal offense from your record is to have your matter reviewed by an experienced attorney.
Our team at The Hammer Law Firm is readily available to help you explore your options and discuss how we can guide you through the expungement process. Call (314) 334-3807 or contact us online to speak with an expungement attorney. We serve clients across St. Louis County and beyond.