September 18, 2013
How to Clean up your Criminal Background Check
When bad things happen to good people. No institution makes you pay for the transgressions of your youth more than the government. I recently received a call from a man in his 50s who was laid off from his job of 20-plus years. When he interviewed for a new job, he thought he had it in the bag until they called to tell him that he had a conviction from over 30 years ago that made him ineligible for hiring.
“I was 18. The court told me to plead guilty and I would just get a fine. They told me I didn’t need a lawyer.” Well, either they misspoke or you missed part of the conversation. Timing is everything. Missouri had just relaxed its expungement laws, and his charge from over 30 years ago was on the list allowing expungement. I filed a motion in the court of conviction, appeared in court, argued for expungement, and the conviction was expunged.
Missouri Expungement Law
Missouri used to be one of the most difficult states to obtain an expungement for a conviction. It is still difficult but not impossible. If a certain felony conviction is over twenty (20) years old or a certain misdemeanor is over ten (10) years old, they might be eligible for expungement. Not every crime qualifies for expungement and the list is still short. A common problem is that not everyone remembers what they were found guilty of 20 to 30 years ago, and they will need a lawyer to discover what the actual conviction is.
Seek Legal Aid Today
If you have an old conviction that is on the list, the attorney files a petition in the court where you were found guilty. Then, the attorney appears in court to litigate the motion for expungement. Even if on the list, the client is still subject to a court’s discretion. The judge must find “circumstances and behavior of the petitioner warrant the expungement and that the expungement is consistent with the public welfare.” And of course there are filing and service fees involved.
My office has handled numerous expungements. If you think you have a shot at expungement, give us a call at (816) 875-0470 today.