HOW TO EXPUNGE A MISSOURI CRIMINAL RECORD & RESTORE MO FIREARM RIGHTS
Don’t Let Your Past Hurt Your Future
If you have a criminal record in Missouri, you already know how frustrating it can be to have a criminal record. Whether you’re charged, convicted, or only arrested for a crime in Missouri, a criminal record is created and then maintained by a division of the Missouri State Highway Patrol called the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) and the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division, making your records available when you’re trying to get a job, purchase a firearm, or do something else that requires a background check.
A record can make getting the job you want seem impossible. They can make living where you want out of reach. You may even have had some of your constitutional rights revoked like voting or owning a gun. Unless you expunge your record, it doesn’t matter how old the record is. It will probably be there forever.
Prior to 2018 it was often difficult to expunge your record in Missouri. Thankfully, Senate Bill 588 has made it much easier to expunge arrests and convictions, as well as the ability to restore your Second Amendment Rights.
Know Your Options
Missouri provides a few methods to deal with a criminal record, so it’s important to review the specific circumstances surrounding the incidents on your record to figure out what’s the best method for you to deal with your criminal record. For specific information on if you qualify, how the legal process works, and what the effects are of each of these legal services, follow the links to our specific Missouri services.
Missouri Arrest Record Expungementarrow_drop_downLearn More Missouri Arrest Record Expungement
Expungement of Missouri Arrest Records
The state of Missouri allows for expungements of arrest records when no charges were filed, the charges were dismissed, you were found not guilty, or you successfully completed a diversion or alternative sentencing program and your charges were dismissed
Missouri Conviction Expungementarrow_drop_downLearn More Missouri Conviction Expungement
Expungement of Missouri Convictions
Missouri law (MO Rev Stat § 610.140) allows for the expungement of both misdemeanor and felony convictions in many situations, but not every criminal record qualifies, as there are certain offenses that are ineligible to be expunged.
This Information is for You
Since the majority of people reading this aren’t lawyers, we’ve tried to simplify the legal jargon on our website, so regular people may follow along and get the information needed to understand their rights. However, before we get started, we should be clear that some of this information can get complicated, and, in many cases, it’s best to seek the assistance of an experienced lawyer.
To help you understand your rights, our lawyers have developed a tool that can be helpful in figuring out your options. This tool can’t be perfectly accurate in every situation, but our lawyers have invested substantial time and resources working to make it as accurate as possible.
You can get started by using our Secure Eligibility Test, or you can give us a call at (844) 947-3732 to see if our legal staff is available for a free consultation. Be aware that our staff is often busy with current clients and a high volume of calls and appointments. If you’re serious about getting rid of your record, your best bet is to take our secure, confidential Eligibility Test and then schedule an appointment to discuss your results and options.
Legal Effects of Expungement
Expungements in Missouri allow you to legally state that you were not arrested or been convicted of a crime in almost all situations. In many cases a Missouri expungement will restore your Second Amendment Rights as well. Restoring firearm rights can be a bit more complicated, so visit our page on Missouri Expungement if you want to learn more.
There are specific requirements discussed in our pages on specific Missouri resources, but the main requirements are generally that you’ve completed your sentence, your conviction was for an eligible offense, and that you haven’t been convicted of any new offenses during the relevant waiting period.
How will expunging my conviction or arrest record help me get a job?arrow_drop_down
Expunging a Missouri conviction is currently the best way to improve your chances of getting a job when you have a criminal record. You can legally state that the conviction or arrest never occurred, and Missouri criminal justice agencies cannot release or make available any information related to the expunged matter. The bottom line is that the expunged criminal record is not publicly available and will not show up in most background check related to employment.
However, even after your criminal record has been expunged, the Missouri State Criminal Justice Information Service (CJIS) continues to index and maintain expunged criminal records for very specific uses. They are prohibited from releasing this information to the public, but upon special request, certain organizations may access expunged information in limited circumstances. These organizations are primarily related to professional licensing, banking, insurance, and employment relating to law enforcement and emergency service providers.
As a result, there are certain occupations requiring Missouri state licensing where you may need to disclose the expunged criminal information. However, these situations are limited, expunging your record will likely demonstrate rehabilitation, and expunging your record should keep that information from the vast majority of potential employers.
Will expunging my record restore my Second Amendment Right to own and possess a firearm?arrow_drop_down
Missouri law provides two main ways to restore your firearm rights, by expungement or pardon from the Governor. It should be noted that there is legal authority indicating that a 402 Reduction from a felony to a misdemeanor may also a viable way to restore your Second Amendment Rights, but the law around this method is somewhat unclear.
Pardons are currently granted very infrequently in Missouri, so if your firearm rights were taken due to a felony conviction, the easiest and most common way to restore firearms in Missouri is via expungement.
Not everybody with a felony conviction can restore their constitutional right to own or possess firearms, but Missouri’s laws are pretty favorable when compared to the process in other states. It should be noted that you can almost never restore firearm rights based on federal convictions, and it can be very difficult if your Second Amendment rights were taken away due to a domestic violence conviction.
Restoring firearm rights involves both state and federal law that should be handled by an experienced lawyer. The lawyers in our firm regularly handle complex firearm rights restoration issues, so a good first step in exploring whether you can restore your firearm rights would be to take our Secure Eligibility Test, and then if appropriate, setting up a time to speak with our legal staff about how to proceed.
What You Need to Do to Get Rid of Your Record
If you are tired of having a criminal record hold you back, reach out to us by taking our Secure Eligibility Test or by giving us a call at (844) 947-3732. Our law firm has helped thousands of people with criminal records move on in life, leaving many of the negative effects of a criminal record behind. Our experienced attorneys and legal staff are here to help you figure out what criminal record clearing services best fit your needs, and then help you accomplish your goals. Using our secure, confidential Eligibility Test is the best way to get the process started.
Some of the potential benefits of expunging your criminal record in Missouri include:
- Removing a finding of guilt from your criminal record to help you get a better job
- Becoming eligible for professional licenses you previously did not qualify for
- Restoring your Second Amendment Right to bear arms
- No longer being treated as a felon
- Increased eligibility for student loans, housing assistance, and government programs
- Improving your ability to obtain higher-paying job opportunities
- Improving access and admission to college and other educational resources
Each of Missouri's methods for dealing with your criminal record have different requirements and are meant for different circumstances. To move forward, it’s important to determine what Missouri criminal record services are available to you, and then select the services that will provide the greatest benefit. Eastman Meyler, PC is here to help you navigate this very specific area of Missouri criminal law, fight to protect your rights, and assist you in moving forward in life without the effects of a Missouri criminal record.