Expungement is the legal process of sealing or destroying court records. This means that the records will no longer be accessible to the public and will not show up on background checks.
The Process of Expungement in Missouri
In Missouri, the expungement process begins by filing a petition with the circuit court in the county where your conviction took place. The court will then set a hearing date and notify the prosecutor’s office, which will have an opportunity to object to the expungement.
If there are no objections, the court will grant the expungement and issue an order to seal the records. If the prosecutor does object, the court will hold a hearing at which both sides can present evidence and argue their case. The court will then decide whether or not to grant the expungement.
Eligibility for Expungement in Missouri
Not all convictions can be expunged in Missouri. You may be eligible for an expungement in the case that you were convicted of a misdemeanour or nonviolent felony or if one is convicted of a felony but granted probation through a suspended imposition of sentence (SIS).
If you were convicted of a crime that is not eligible for expungement, you might still be able to have your records sealed if you can show that the conviction was based on false information or that you are factually innocent of the crime.
Benefits of Expungement
An expungement Missouri can provide many benefits for those with a criminal record. One of the most obvious is that it can help to improve your employment prospects. Many employers will not hire individuals with a criminal record, regardless of the nature of the offence. An expungement can remove this barrier to employment.
In addition, an expungement can also help to improve your housing prospects. Landlords often perform background checks on potential tenants and may refuse to rent to those with a criminal record. An expungement can clear your record and make it easier to find housing.
Finally, an expungement can also help to restore your civil rights. Those with a felony conviction in Missouri are barred from voting and from serving on a jury. An expungement can remove these restrictions and help you to fully participate in society.
If you are eligible for an expungement in Missouri, it is important to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney. The expungement process can be complex and confusing, and an attorney can help to ensure that your rights are protected.
How to Get Started with the Expungement Process in Missouri
If you think you may be eligible for an expungement in Missouri, the first step is to consult with an attorney who specializes in expungements. They will be able to review your case and let you know if you are eligible.
If you are eligible, the attorney will help you file a petition with the court and represent you at the hearing, if necessary. They will also help you navigate the expungement process and make sure that your records are properly sealed.