What Felonies Cannot Be Expunged in Missouri?
In the state of Missouri, individuals with a criminal record often seek to have their records expunged. Expungement is the legal process of clearing or sealing criminal records, allowing individuals to move forward and overcome the barriers associated with having a criminal history. However, not all felonies can be expunged in Missouri. In this article, we will explore the felonies that cannot be expunged and answer some frequently asked questions about the expungement process in Missouri.
Felonies that Cannot Be Expunged in Missouri:
1. Class A Felonies: Class A felonies are the most serious offenses in Missouri, including crimes such as murder, rape, or kidnapping. These felonies cannot be expunged, as they carry significant societal implications and are considered too severe to be wiped clean from an individual’s record.
2. Dangerous Felonies: Certain felonies are classified as “dangerous” under Missouri law. These include crimes such as assault, robbery, arson, or drug trafficking. Due to their potential threat to public safety, dangerous felonies cannot be expunged.
3. Sexual Offenses: Any felony involving sexual offenses, such as rape, child molestation, or sexual misconduct with a minor, cannot be expunged in Missouri. These crimes are considered highly sensitive and pose a significant risk to society, making expungement inapplicable.
4. Felonies Resulting in Death: If a felony results in someone’s death, it cannot be expunged. Crimes such as manslaughter or vehicular homicide that lead to fatal consequences are not eligible for expungement.
5. Felonies Involving Minors: Felonies involving minors, such as child abuse, child endangerment, or kidnapping, cannot be expunged. These offenses are taken seriously to protect vulnerable individuals and maintain public safety.
6. Domestic Violence Felonies: Any felony related to domestic violence, including assault or stalking, cannot be expunged. The state of Missouri prioritizes the safety of victims and considers these crimes too severe to be expunged.
Frequently Asked Questions about Expungement in Missouri:
1. Can I expunge a misdemeanor in Missouri?
Yes, certain misdemeanors can be expunged in Missouri. However, the eligibility criteria and waiting periods may vary depending on the offense. It’s advisable to consult an attorney to determine if your misdemeanor is eligible for expungement.
2. How long do I have to wait to apply for expungement?
The waiting period to apply for expungement varies depending on the offense. For most felonies, you need to wait at least seven years after completing your sentence. Misdemeanors generally have a shorter waiting period, ranging from one to three years.
3. Can I expunge multiple offenses at once?
Yes, it is possible to expunge multiple offenses at once if they meet the eligibility requirements. However, each offense will be evaluated separately, and the waiting periods for each may differ.
4. Do I need an attorney to file for expungement?
While it is not mandatory to hire an attorney, it is highly recommended. An attorney with expertise in expungement laws can guide you through the process, ensure proper documentation, and increase your chances of a successful expungement.
5. Will expungement completely erase my criminal record?
Expungement does not completely erase your criminal record but seals it from public access. Certain entities, such as law enforcement agencies or specific employers, may still have access to your expunged records under certain circumstances.
In conclusion, not all felonies can be expunged in Missouri. Class A felonies, dangerous offenses, sexual offenses, crimes resulting in death, felonies involving minors, and domestic violence felonies are among the offenses that cannot be expunged. It is crucial to understand the eligibility requirements and seek professional legal advice when considering expungement. Expungement can provide individuals with a fresh start, allowing them to rebuild their lives and move forward with greater opportunities.