If you were accused or convicted of a crime, your friends or family members may have advised you to consider having the charges expunged. If this topic confuses you, you are not alone. Expungement can be a complex issue for you and other Missouri residents.
What is expungement? As FindLaw explains, this is the legal process of erasing a conviction, arrest or criminal charge. After a successful expungement, people conducting a background check will not be able to find any record of alleged or convicted wrongdoing for that particular charge.
Why seek an expungement? Let us say you are applying for a job and looking to move into a new apartment. As you can expect, your potential employer and landlord might balk at the idea of accepting your application if they see you have a criminal record, regardless of whether you have turned your life around. Adding insult to injury, you might have been falsely accused of a crime you did not commit – such as failing a field sobriety test because you were tired and nervous, rather than intoxicated. Understandably, you would not want a DUI arrest on your record if you were never convicted of drunk driving.
Not every charge can be expunged, and your potential success would depend on the nature of the charge, your prior criminal history and how long ago you were arrested or convicted. Expungement is a complex area of criminal defense law. Therefore, the information provided in this post is not meant as legal advice.