Closing Criminal Records: Missouri’s New Expungement Law

Starting January 1, 2018, many Missourians will become eligible for expungement of their criminal records. In 2016, Missouri Legislature signed new criminal record expungement rules into law. These rules allow for the expungement of most misdemeanors and many felonies, including drug offenses.

In the past, only very few crimes were eligible for expungement. Expungement is the process of sealing a criminal record. In other words, it is the process of preventing your criminal record from being viewed by the general public. Under the new law, only rare circumstances would require an individual to disclose an expunged criminal record.

Past criminal records often can exclude someone from being eligible for employment, loans, and many government provided benefits. While the expungement process does not work as a pardon, it does begin to return the individual back to the position they were in before they were arrested for their criminal offense. If you have questions or concerns if a crime is eligible for expungement, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.

Misdemeanor Expungement Process

In a misdemeanor case, you’ll be eligible for expungement three years from the close of your case. A case closes when you have paid off your fines, completed probation, or completed a jail sentence. If you completed probation on January 1 of 2014, for example, you would have been eligible for expungement three years after that date, or January 1, 2017. If your criminal record shows a misdemeanor crime that is older than five or six years, it is likely eligible for expungement.

Felony Expungement Process

In the past, very few felonies were eligible for expungement. Missouri’s new legislature opens the door for many more offenses to be eligible for expungement; most notably, drug offenses. In order for a felony to be eligible for expungement, seven years must pass after the completion of your case. Completion of a felony case occurs when you’ve served your jail/prison term or completed probation. The felony expungement law is much more limited than the misdemeanor law, so it is important to contact an attorney to see whether or not you are eligible to expunge a past felony conviction.


Missouri’s new expungement process will open doors for many people with a past felony conviction. It will allow those with a criminal record to gain access to opportunities that they were previously denied. Not everyone will be eligible for an expungement, but many will have the opportunity to seal their criminal record. This new legislation goes into effect  in 2018, and it is designed to free people from the weight of their criminal convictions.  Our office is happy to address any questions or concerns you may have about the expungement process; don’t hesitate to contact us.

By | 2019-01-04T18:47:57+00:00 November 20th, 2017|Firm News, Legal News|6 Comments

About the Author:

Scott Pierson & Joe Passanise
The Law Offices of Dee Wampler and Joseph Passanise is a widely respected criminal defense practice which has represented adults and juveniles throughout the states of Missouri and Arkansas as well as surrounding states. We can help you make sense of all criminal charges that may come against you: from misdemeanor DWI to murder and other serious felonies. Our firm has specific expertise handling federal charges, serious gun and drug charges, murder, fraud, white collar crimes and sex crimes. We also have extensive experience in more common offenses such as, DUI/DWI, drug possession, domestic violence and theft offenses. visit our case archives to find out more about our past trials. Our office is located at 2974 East Battlefield in Springfield, Missouri and we can be reached at (417) 882-9300.


  1. Jan Ruston November 27, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    I have been trying so hard to seal my records i am 57 now have serious health issus including stage2 liver cancer,diabetes type2,copd,and other issues id lije to see if yall can help me seal my records.please let me know what i need to do.thank you and God bless

    • Scott Pierson & Joe Passanise
      Scott Pierson & Joe Passanise November 29, 2017 at 2:59 pm

      Hi Jan,
      Please call our office at (417) 882-9300 with any questions regarding the expungement process or to see if you are eligible. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

  2. Chris Thomas December 11, 2017 at 1:12 am

    I have sent all the paper work to the governors office years ago. I had a class c I’m 1998 ,completed my sentence and got out on good time. I have grown up in Missouri and hunting has been part of my life since I was a kid. I want to be able to pass this along to my boy but can’t legaly due to my felony. I would love to have it expunged. I have served on a volunteer fire Dept for almost 16 years and served our community in many ways. It’s unfair that someone is punished the rest of their lives for a mistake they made when they were a kid.

    • Scott Pierson & Joe Passanise
      Scott Pierson & Joe Passanise December 11, 2017 at 2:45 pm

      Hi Chris,
      Thank you for commenting. Please call our office at (417) 882-9300 with any questions regarding the expungement process or to see if you are eligible. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

  3. Adam Morgan December 28, 2017 at 5:07 am

    I had a case about a yr ago. DUI. Joe did a pretty good job. Got my DUI dropped to failure to keep right. Whatever thats suppose to mean. Anyway just want to say thanks and in the future im hopping to get this case expunged along with any other issues that their may be.
    Maybe i can setup some kind of payment plan so the money is there and ready.
    Thank a million,
    Adam M.

    • Scott Pierson & Joe Passanise
      Scott Pierson & Joe Passanise April 16, 2018 at 4:06 pm

      Hi Adam,

      Thank you for feedback on your experience with our firm. We’re happy to hear you are satisfied with Joe’s work. To learn more about the expungement process and determine if you are eligible, please contact our office at 417-882-9300 and we’d be happy to set up a meeting. We look forward to hearing from you!

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