NEW CHANGES to Expungement law in Missouri effective August 28th 2021
On July 14, 2021 Mike Parson signed Senate Bill 53 into law making key changes to the expungement statutes, primarily: arrest expungements 610.122, conviction expungements 610.140, and how closed records will be treated with respect to the purchase of a firearm. These key changes to the existing law will go into effect on August 28th, 2021. Here are some of the implications of the new law, call us to discuss the complete implications of the new law.
- 610.120: Confidential / Closed Records
- Under current law the Federal government has been using closed Missouri Criminal Convictions (expunged records) to deny people the right to bear arms – thus denying them the ability to purchase a firearm.
- “This act repeals the provision that law enforcement agencies for the issuance of permits to people seeking such permits to purchase or possess a firearm shall have access to closed records.” – SB 53
- 610.122: Arrest Expungements
- “Under current law, a record of arrest shall only be eligible for expungement if the person who was arrested has no prior or subsequent misdemeanor or felony convictions and no civil action is pending relating to the arrest sought to be expunged.” – SB 53
- “This act repeals the provision that a person who was arrested has to have no prior convictions.” – SB 53
- 610.140: Conviction Expungements
- Under the current law there is a 7 year waiting period from the time of the final disposition of a case before you can file for a Felony Expungement and a 3 year waiting period before you can file for a Misdemeanor Expungement.
- The New law changes the waiting time from 7 years to 3 years for Felonies and 3 years to 1 year for Misdemeanors.
What is an ExpungEment?
An expungement is a court ordered sealing of an arrest or conviction making such records unavailable to the general public and held confidential. If an order for expungement is granted, “the effect of such an order shall be to restore such person to the status he or she occupied prior to such arrests, pleas, trials, or convictions as if such events had never taken place” (RSMO 610.140). The person can deny that any conviction ever took place without committing perjury, with the exception of a few circumstances.
Expungements in Missouri
On January 1st 2018 Missouri statute 610.140 went into effect. The new law made modifications to existing expungement statutes making it easier to get most criminal convictions expunged in Missouri. The expungement statutes in Missouri can be difficult to navigate, we are here to help and advocate for you.
Clearing Expunged Records from Background Check databases
Once a petition for an expungement is granted we help our clients remove the record from private background check databases to further erase the footprint of the conviction that was expunged.
importance of legal expungment and database scrub
We are attorneys that understand the importance of allowing people to move on with their life after a criminal conviction. Missouri expungement statutes make this possible. The first step is to get a legal expungement from the courts, this requires a peition and a hearing. The expungement will take the record out of most government databases and generally cannot be used except in particular situations as addressed under the “expungement law” menu tab.
The second step to having records cleared is to get companies that provide background checks to scrub their databases of any record of the conviction. Because of the enormity of the backgroud check industry and the lack of oversight and regulation this can be a challenging task. There are hundreds if not thousands of companies that either buy criminal records from the government or use publicly available information to report convictions to human resource departments when hiring and landlords when renting.
We can represent client in both steps of the process, the legal expungement and database scrub.
Contact us to discuss your eligibility for an expungement.