You recently went through one of the most challenging and frightening times in your life, but fortunately your case was dismissed and you were not convicted of the crimes you were accused of. However, like many Missouri residents, you may not realize that your arrest is still a part of your record, and it could affect you for the rest of your life. You may need to take the steps to expunge these charges on your record and clear your name.
Many people do not understand that they can have a criminal record as soon as they are arrested, rather than convicted, of a crime. As USA TODAY explains, anybody can be arrested, even if they are innocent. You might have been charged for domestic violence after an argument with your spouse resulted in someone calling the police, even if you never harmed your spouse. An officer may have taken you in for drunk driving after you failed a sobriety test merely for having poor balance. The district attorney may have decided there was no need to proceed with a case against you, or a jury might have found you not guilty. The arrest is still on your record, regardless of the conviction being there or not.
As you might imagine, a criminal charge on your record can have long-lasting consequences. Potential employers may be able to see it when they are considering you for a job. A landlord might look up your record before deciding to rent to you. Therefore, you may find it beneficial to expunge the charges from your record before they impact your life. Since the information in this post is meant to educate, it should not replace the advice of a lawyer.