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St. Louis Expungement Lawyer

Expungement of Your Criminal Record

The Missouri laws on expungement of your criminal record are quite specific and complex. Attorney Brent Labovitz understands that having a criminal record can adversely affect employment, housing, and educational opportunities, as well as your reputation. He has dedicated his career exclusively to criminal defense matters, including his work for a respected Chicago, Illinois criminal defense law firm and his time in the Missouri Public Defender's Office. As a public defender, he was lead counsel on hundreds of criminal cases and knows the effects a record can have on an individual and their family. Along with other attorneys, he works not only on defending those accused of crimes, but on helping to get the files of eligible persons expunged.

Expungement Attorney in St. Louis

The first step in getting your files expunged is to ensure that you are eligible for this process. As of January 1, 2018, Missouri has updated its laws regarding the expungement of criminal records. Now, a broader range of criminal convictions are eligible for expungement. In order to qualify, your arrest must have been based on false information and:

  • At the time of the action to expunge your files, there exists no probable cause to believe you committed the crime
  • Resulting from your arrest, no charges will be pursued
  • You have neither prior nor subsequent convictions (either a misdemeanor or a felony)
  • The imposition of your sentence was not suspended for the crime you were arrested for or for any offense connected to your arrest
  • There is no civil action pending which is connected to the arrest or records you are trying to get expunged

In order to seek expungement, you must have fulfilled the terms of your sentence, whether that is prison time, probation, or parole. Furthermore, for expungement of a felony offense, you will have to wait for 7 years after you have served your sentence. For expungement of a misdemeanor, municipal offense, or infraction, you will have to wait for 3 years after serving your sentence. Under the new law, you can expunge up to 2 misdemeanor offenses and 1 felony during your lifetime.

What Crimes Are Eligible for Expungement?

Certain alcohol-related driving offenses may be eligible for expungement. If the conviction was your first intoxication-related offense and a misdemeanor or ordinance violation, you may be able to seek expungement. Furthermore, at least 10 years must have passed since the conviction, and you must not have had any other alcohol-related driving offenses or enforcement contracts in the meantime. You must also have no pending alcohol-related actions against you.

There are other types of criminal convictions that are not eligible for expungement. These include:

  • Alcohol-related offenses while operating a commercial motor vehicle
  • Class A felony offenses
  • Dangerous felony offenses, such as robbery or assault
  • Felony assault or kidnapping
  • Sexual offenses requiring registration as a sex offender
  • Misdemeanor or felony domestic assault
  • Felony offenses involving death as an element

When your files are expunged, they will be legally destroyed or, in some cases, blackened out. This includes all computer records and electronic files, as well as those contained on paper. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will also expunge your records from its files. The final result is that your arrest, plea, trial, and conviction will be as if they never happened. As with the defense of crimes, it is important to utilize a proven St. Louis criminal defense attorney in order to see your expungement through to a successful completion.

Understanding the Effect of Expungement on Your Employment Opportunities

Under Missouri’s new law, even if your files are expunged, you may still need to disclose your criminal conviction when applying for certain jobs. These include any jobs that require a professional license, certificate, or permit issued by Missouri. Furthermore, you will also need to disclose your conviction when applying for a position in a law enforcement agency, bank or credit union, or any job that is required to exclude applicants with criminal a history. Jobs in the insurance industry and emergency services industry also count. However, for all other jobs, you may legally deny having any criminal convictions when filling out an application.

If you are in doubt about whether your files can be expunged, it is best to consult with a knowledgeable attorney as your first course of action. Contact a St. Louis expungement lawyer to find out if you are eligible to have your criminal records expunged.

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We truly appreciate all the hard work and support he put in the case Mr. Labovitz handled a criminal matter for a family member of ours. Our family member was facing many years in prison. Mr. Labovitz truly cared about the outcome of the case and fought diligently to make sure no stone was left unturned. We truly appreciate all the hard work and support he put in the case.
- The Martin Family
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