Governor Jay Nixon recently signed into law Senate Bill 588 which vastly expands the number of criminal offenses that can be expunged under Missouri’s expungement law. What this means is that thousands of people with criminal records will be able to get their convictions and arrests expunged. KOLR10 did a story this week in which criminal defense attorney Adam Woody was interviewed to provide input. Click here to view the story. Essentially, the new law will allow most felonies and nearly all misdemeanors and municipal ordinance violations to be expunged. The prior expungement law allowed only a few minor offenses to be wiped away, but the new law allows most everything with the exception of dangerous felonies and sex offenses to be expunged. For felonies, the offenses can be expunged 7 years after the completion of a prison sentence or a probation period, and for misdemeanors the period is 3 years after jail or probation.
Both the Missouri Office of Prosecuting Services and the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (of which Adam Woody serves as Treasurer), as well as legislators from both parties, worked collaboratively in this legislation. We are pleased with the outcome, likely restoring civil rights and employ-ability to thousands.
The new law doesn’t take effect until January 1, 2018.