How Can I Get My Record Expunged for Free in Missouri
Having a criminal record can greatly impact various aspects of your life, including employment opportunities, housing options, and even your personal relationships. However, in the state of Missouri, individuals who have been convicted of certain offenses may have the opportunity to get their records expunged. Expungement is a legal process that allows you to erase or seal your criminal record, giving you a fresh start and a chance to move forward with your life. In this article, we will explore how you can get your record expunged for free in Missouri and provide answers to some frequently asked questions on the topic.
Eligibility for Expungement in Missouri
In Missouri, not all criminal offenses are eligible for expungement. To be eligible, you must meet specific criteria outlined by state law. The eligibility requirements for expungement in Missouri include the following:
1. Non-violent offenses: Only non-violent offenses can be considered for expungement. Crimes such as assault, robbery, and murder are not eligible.
2. Misdemeanors and felonies: Both misdemeanors and felonies can be considered for expungement in Missouri.
3. Waiting period: There is a waiting period before you can apply for expungement. For misdemeanors, you must wait three years after completing your sentence, probation, or parole. For felonies, the waiting period is seven years.
4. No subsequent convictions: You must not have any subsequent convictions during the waiting period. If you have been convicted of another offense during the waiting period, you will no longer be eligible for expungement.
How to Get Your Record Expunged for Free
Getting your record expunged in Missouri can be a complex process, and having legal representation is highly recommended. However, if you cannot afford an attorney, there are resources available that can help you navigate the process for free.
1. Public defender’s office: If you are unable to afford an attorney, you may be eligible for assistance from the public defender’s office. They can provide guidance and represent you throughout the expungement process.
2. Legal aid organizations: There are various legal aid organizations in Missouri that provide free legal assistance to individuals who cannot afford an attorney. These organizations can help you understand the expungement process and provide support throughout.
3. Self-help resources: The Missouri courts provide self-help resources and forms that can guide you through the expungement process. These resources can be found on the Missouri Judiciary website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I expunge a DUI conviction in Missouri?
A: No, DUI convictions cannot be expunged in Missouri.
Q: Are there any filing fees for expungement in Missouri?
A: Yes, there are filing fees associated with the expungement process. However, if you cannot afford the fees, you may be eligible for a fee waiver.
Q: Will my expunged record still appear on background checks?
A: Once your record is expunged, it will no longer be accessible to the general public. However, law enforcement agencies and certain employers may still have access to the expunged records.
Q: Can I expunge multiple offenses at once?
A: Yes, you can include multiple offenses in a single expungement petition as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.
Q: How long does the expungement process take in Missouri?
A: The expungement process can vary in duration depending on the complexity of your case, court workload, and other factors. It can take several months to complete.
Having a criminal record can have long-lasting consequences, but expungement offers a chance to start anew. If you meet the eligibility requirements, you may be able to get your record expunged for free in Missouri. Seek assistance from the public defender’s office, legal aid organizations, or utilize self-help resources provided by the Missouri courts. Understanding the expungement process and having proper legal guidance can greatly increase your chances of successfully clearing your criminal record and moving forward with your life.