By: Twibell Pierson
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Record Expungment for Drug Offenses in Missouri
In 2018 most drug offenses became eligible for expungement. Expungement is the process of erasing and sealing a criminal record.
There are two types of drug cases. First, marijuana offenses under 35 grams which is a misdemeanor. Second, all other drug offenses are felonies.
Misdemeanor Drug Cases
Misdemeanor drug offenses involve marijuana less than an ounce. Marijuana drug cases include municipal ordinance violations and violations of state statutes.
There are often times misdemeanor drug paraphernalia offenses that can be related to both felony drug possession and misdemeanor drug possession.
If you’ve ever paid a fine for a misdemeanor drug offense, been on probation or gone to jail for a misdemeanor drug offense, or have pled guilty, you may be eligible to expunge that record.
In order to be able to expunge a misdemeanor drug offense, an applicant needs to meet the following criteria:
- It has been THREE years since probation, fines and/or jail have been completed.
- No criminal convictions over the last three years. Minor traffic offenses are okay.
- Can have two misdemeanor expungements, in some circumstances more than two.
General Rule: Misdemeanors pled before 2013 are eligible for expungement of criminal record.
Expungement of Felony Drug Offense
Prior to 2018, felony drug offenses were ineligible for expungement.
This left thousands of Missouri citizens with the burden of a felony record
The current criminal record expungement law allows for expungement of a felony drug offense if the applicant has been off probation or been out of jail for over seven (7) years.
Essentially, if an applicant completed probation or their sentence seven years from today’s date and has no criminal history in that time they are likely eligible for expungement.
This includes felony possession of controlled substance and felony distribution charges. It is important to note that if you have one or more felony convictions, you may not be eligible for expungement.
If you have any questions about felony expungement, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.
General Rule: Felonies pled before 2008 are eligible for expungement of criminal record.
Next steps to take:
This new law opens the door to clear a criminal record and for erasing a drug conviction.
This law will allow for many thousands of people who have had a marijuana or drug conviction on their public record to erase the lifelong consequences of having a misdemeanor or felony conviction.
The stigma of a drug conviction can prevent somebody from getting anything from a job to a loan to buy a house or a car. It is important that people who are eligible to expunge these drug convictions take the necessary steps to expunge these arrests, pleas of guilty and/or convictions.
If you have any questions or concerns about the expungement process, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced attorneys at Twibell Pierson Criminal Law.