Recently, a change in law went into effect that greatly expands a person's ability to have prior convictions or pleas of guilty expunged from their criminal record. Expungement is the process which allows a person with a conviction to have the record of that conviction removed from their criminal record. Among other things, this can impact a person's ability to gain employment or secure a lease for rental property.
The revised law, RSMo § 610.140, permits expungements of nearly 146 times as many offenses as compared to the prior law which limited expungement eligibility to only 13 offenses. Now, even individuals with certain Felony convictions on their records may have an opportunity to have those convictions expunged from their criminal records. This has raised the question among a number of individuals with convictions for Felony DWI's on their record. Under the newly revised law, can a person with a prior conviction for a Felony DWI have that conviction removed from their criminal record?
To answer that question, it is first important to note that when it comes to expunging convictions, Missouri law has two categories: Those involving driving offenses that are alcohol-related; and, all other offenses. Section 610.140 does not apply to DWI convictions, whether Misdemeanors or Felonies. Expungements of DWI convictions are controlled by RSMo § 610.130.
In order for a person to be qualified to have a conviction of a DWI expunged from their criminal record, they must first satisfy the following requirements:
1. At least 10 years must have passed since their conviction or plea of guilty to an alcohol-related driving offense;
2. The conviction or plea of guilty must have been for a First alcohol-related traffic offense;
3. The conviction or plea of guilty must have been for a Misdemeanor, or county or city ordinance;
4. The alcohol-related traffic offense must not have involved a Commercial Motor Vehicle; and
5. The Individual must not have any convictions, pleas of guilty or any pending actions for any intoxicated-related traffic offenses since their first.
If all of these requirements are met, then a person is eligible to have their DWI conviction or plea of guilty expunged from their criminal record.
While this means you can have a Misdemeanor DWI expunged, it also means that you cannot have a Felony DWI expunged from your record.
However, in order to have a court consider your request to have your DWI conviction or plea of guilty expunged from your record, you must file a petition in the Circuit Court of the County where you were convicted or entered a plea of guilty. Our experienced lawyers can assist you in seeking the expungement of your DWI conviction or plea of guilty. Contact Anthony Bretz now to see about putting your past mistake behind you.
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