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How to Get a Felony Off Your Record in Missouri

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A felony has a big impact on a person’s life and if you live in Missouri, you’ve come here trying to find out how to get the felony off your record.  Realize that with all felony records, there are three options you can take.  1) Expunge Your Record2) Seal Your Record,3) Request a Pardon of Your RecordThe problem though is that all states don’t offer all three of these options. But before we get into what Missouri offers, let’s review what each of these options actually mean.

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Expungement

If you get your record expunged in Missouri it’s as if your arrest and/or charges never happened. Your record is completely destroyed, including all physical and public records. When asked if have a criminal record, after expungement, you can truthfully answer “no”.

Record Sealing

Sealing your record in Missouri is similar to expungement, but your record still exists in a limited form. The public does not have access to your record, but there are some exceptions. Your records can still be accessed by law enforcement and the courts. Record sealing is not as secure as expungement, but it is a reasonable alternative that is comparatively easier to obtain if your state offers it.

Pardons

If you receive a pardon in Missouri, you still have record of your arrest or charge, but your guilt is exonerated. That is, you have proven that you are rehabilitated and forgiven for your crimes. You can also get relief in terms of having various rights restored, such as your right to vote. The requirements for pardons vary between states, but typically there is a lot of documentation required, and includes lengthy waiting periods to apply and receive a pardon.

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Things to Know Before You Start

First: It’s important to understand that every state is different in terms of what methods are available for felons to remove their record and the information below will help you understand what you can do in Missouri.

Felony Expungement in Missouri

Yes, it is possible to expunge your felony in Missouri but it depends on the felony.

Sealing a Record in Missouri

Yes, it is possible to seal your record in Missouri but it depends on the felony.

Getting a Pardon in Missouri

Yes, it is possible to get a pardon of your record in Missouri but it depends on the felony.

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Second: When trying to clear your record, you really have two options.  The first is to get a free consultation from a lawyer to see what they think of your case, and the second is to try to do all of the paperwork yourself.  

Third: We HIGHLY recommend that you get a free consultation from a lawyer prior to taking any action.  We say this because whether you want to expunge, seal, or pardon your record, it’s an extremely complicated process.  Failure to follow the process properly can end up with you being denied for the request and having to wait additional time (sometimes several years) before you can file again.  In addition, getting an expungement lawyer can increase your odds of succeeding and sometimes it’s more affordable than you think.  The first step is to click on the button below to confirm that you’re eligible for the expungement/sealing of your record.

TAKE THE ELIGIBILITY TESTQuick NavigationCan You Expunge a Felony in Missouri?How to Expunge a Felony in MissouriCan You Seal Your Criminal Record in Missouri?How to Seal Your Criminal Record in MissouriCan You Apply for a Pardon in Missouri?How to  Apply for a Pardon in Missouri

Can You Expunge a Felony in Missouri?

In Missouri, not all felony convictions can be expunged. In fact, prior to the passage of Sec. 610.140 RSMO, only a felony for bad checks and fraudulent use of a credit device could be expunged.  The new law expands the number of felonies eligible to be expunged, and sets out the procedure to expunge.

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CANNOT EXPUNGE IF…

Conviction was for a violent crime

The State of Missouri prohibits expungement of its Class A felonies.  These include such things as murder, armed robbery, first degree assault and others.  If yours was in this Class of felonies, the expungement route won’t work.

Sex offenses

 Felony sex offenses like rape, sodomy, and degrees of child molestation will not be expungeable.

Less than 7 years old

The conviction (and that means when the sentence was registered) must be seven years or older. Missouri recently passed legislation to lower this time from the previous 20 years, so they have made progress in making this more attainable

Subsequent conviction

 You must have a clean criminal record since the date of the felony conviction.

Obligations of conviction have not been made

The court costs, fees, and restitution ordered of the felony conviction all must be Paid.  If they are not, you will not be eligible.

How to Expunge a Felony in Missouri

  1. Before you begin this process, we insist that you take this eligibility test to determine if you’re eligible to expunge your record.
  2. If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because expungements are mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you.
  3. If you are not eligible for expungement based on our test, then you should stop here.
  4. If you are eligible based on our test and want to do this without a lawyer, continue reading.
  5. Take a look at Sec. 610.140.4 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri.  It has a list of the elements you will need in your Petition including:  Your name, sex, race, driver’s license number, current address, each felony you want expunged, the approximate charge date of the offense, the name of the county and if applicable municipality in which the offense occurred, the case number and name of the court for each offense.  These will all be required to make expungement a reality.
  6. Get ready to present your case in a hearing before the Court.  A prosecuting attorney may file an objection to your petition.  If that does happen, you are strongly encouraged to hire an attorney immediately as you’ll now be faced with defending your expungement against a professional. If this does happen and you represent yourself, the chances of your petition being granted fall considerably. 

Can You Seal Your Criminal Record in Missouri?

Sealing a record in Ohio is no easy task and this guide does a great job of explaining all of the intricate details.  We’ve done our best to sum everything up below to make it easier to understand.

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CANNOT SEAL IF…

The felony was a violent offense

A Court will not seal an offense that would violate other statutory directives that it remains an open record.

The felony is one required to be sent to the sex offense registry.

The Court does not have the authority to seal the matter except in very limited circumstances. 

The felony is a recent one

You’ll typically have to wait for three years after you complete probation to apply to get a record sealed.

More than one felony

If you have more than one felony on your record, you cannot get the record sealed.

How to Seal Your Criminal Record in Missouri

The procedure to get a criminal record sealed by a court in Missouri is a complicated process involving several steps:

  1. Before you begin this process, we insist that you take this eligibility test to determine if you’re eligible to seal your record.
  2. If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because expungements are mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you.
  3. If you are not eligible to seal your record based on our test, then you should stop here.
  4. If you are eligible to seal your record based on our test and want to do this without a lawyer, continue reading.
  5. File a petition in the court in which the conviction was entered and sentenced rendered.
  6. The petition should have all identifying information about you and the criminal record you want sealed such as:
  7. State reasons why the court file should not be public. Reasons like the court record contains information about innocent third parties (especially children) would be an example of a good reason. Ideally, these third parties would be co-petitioners or joined in your petition.
  8. A request that the record be sealed and that it be removed from the State reporting system, i.e. Missouri Casenet.

Can You Apply for a Pardon in Missouri?

The Constitution of Missouri grants the Governor the power to pardon all offenses except treason and impeachment. If your felony was not one of those two, the Governor has the power to pardon you. The Board of Probation and Parole is in charge of processing and making the rules about who can get recommended to the Governor for a pardon.

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CANNOT PARDON IF…

Less than 3 years old

Your felony conviction is less than 3 years old/or you are still on probation and parole for it.

Court conditions fulfilled

The Board of Probation and Parole will not recommend a pardon until all conditions of parole and probation have been satisfied. Court costs and victim restitution must be paid.

Repeat offender

You have committed another criminal offense (other than minor traffic).  The Board of Probation has discretion whether to consider an offense as too minor to be a problem. In general, any offense other than a minor traffic ticket will be grounds to refuse the application.

You have pending charges

The Board of Probation and Parole will not proceed with an application until the charges are resolved.

You have been denied a pardon with the last 3 years

The Board of Probation of Parole will not proceed until this amount of time has passed.

How to Apply for a Pardon in Missouri

Missouri has a specific process in order to apply for a pardon. Pardons are often the course of last resort to get relief from a felony conviction. The following are the steps to take:

  1. Before you begin this process, we insist that you take this eligibility test to determine if you’re eligible to request a pardon for your record. In most cases, if you are eligible for expungement on our test, then you’ll be eligible for a pardon.
  2. If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because requesting a pardon is mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you.
  3. If you are not eligible based on our test, then you should stop here.
  4. If you are eligible based on our test and want to do this without a lawyer, continue reading.
  5. Read carefully the information and instruction set out by the Board of Probation and Parole on its website
  6. Carefully fill out the application for Clemency that is located here. Be sure to gather all the information you need to fill it out completely and correctly.

So, there you have it.  Three separate ways to get rid of your record in STATE NAME.  As we’ve said numerous times throughout this page, this is a really complicated process and we highly recommend that you take this eligibility test prior to taking any action to determine if you are eligible for any of these options.

Please note, the information contained here is not legal advice and is strictly informational.  If you have any further questions about the information above, or in general, you need to contact a lawyer directly.

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