Doing stupid stuff when you were younger may come back to haunt you later in life. Were you accused of shoplifting? What about the time the police arrested you for the destruction of property?
To get rid of your criminal record, you want to get an expungement. An expungement is an act of deleting any record of arrest or criminal charge.
Missouri law does not let you erase every crime. Some crimes not eligible for expungement include:
- Class A felony
- Any dangerous felony such as domestic assault, elder abuse and robbery
- An offense that requires sex offender registration
- Any felony offense where death is an element
There is a waiting period you must meet before applying for expungement. These are:
- Three years for misdemeanors
- Seven years for felonies
- Ten years for an intoxication-related vehicle or boating offense
After the waiting period, you can petition the court for the expungement.
You can petition for expungement by:
- Filing the petition in the court that charged you or found you guilty
- Listing the names of all law enforcement agencies, courts, prosecuting attorneys or others that may have your records
The Missouri courts’ website has a Petition for Expungement of Arrest Records you can print out to submit. Read the information about eligibility for the expungement.
Once the courts erase your records, they no longer exist, and that means you no longer have to give this information to employers or other entities that may require criminal background checks. Knowing you have the chance to erase past mistakes may help you aspire to grab for things you once thought were out of reach.