Could Missouri's New Expungement Law Help You Clean Up Your Criminal Record?

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Missouri Senate Bill 588 (also referred to as SB 588) goes into effect on January 1st of 2018. If you have been convicted of a crime, how may the passage of this bill affect you? Is it possible you could have your criminal record expunged or essentially erased?

While this is great news for many who have been convicted of certain crimes, others are not eligible for expungement. Hopefully the information below will help you understand whether SB 588 could benefit you.

Those who have been convicted of criminal offenses including those related to illegal drugs may be eligible to have their records expunged or closed. This means that if you were
to apply for employment, housing, or even a loan or benefits provided by the government you could answer "no" on questions related to criminal records or convictions. This is extremely important for those who are ready to continue down a positive path in life and put their criminal past behind them.

What if you've been convicted of a felony offense? While certain felonies are not eligible for expungement, many will be once the new law takes effect as long as seven years have passed since the completion (successful serving of jail/prison time or completed probation) of your case. Many drug offenses or other felonies may qualify for expungement, however the most serious felony convictions will not be eligible including but not limited to kidnapping, domestic assault, any crime that requires you to register as a sex offender, robbery or other felonies with an element of danger, and Class A felonies.

Most misdemeanor cases will be eligible for expungement as long as it's been three years since your case closed. If five or six years have passed since you committed a misdemeanor offense it's likely you will qualify for expungement. Misdemeanor crimes include some drug offenses such as possession of less than 35 grams of marijuana, theft of property or goods valued at less than $500, and driving while intoxicated charges.

There are countless crimes that may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances, criminal history and other factors. Some drug or DWI crimes are considered misdemeanors, while others are charged as felonies. The same is true of various theft offenses. Ultimately there are many more crimes that may be eligible for expungement than there were prior to the passage of this bill.

Given this is a new law in Missouri and the fact that very few crimes were eligible for expungement prior to the passage of SB 588, the only way to know for certain whether your criminal record may be eligible for expungement come January of 2018 is to consult with an experienced Kansas City criminal defense attorney. For many convicted of misdemeanor or felony crimes this could be life-changing. Contact Matt O'Connor today to learn if you could begin the new year with a fresh start.

Learn more about acquiring expungement of your Kansas City record by visiting the O'Connor Law Firm.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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