If you have a criminal conviction, especially as a college student, you may have to deal with the repercussions for years. One mistake may cost you scholarships or even jobs.
When a conviction shows up on a background check, employers may opt to pass on your application. In Missouri, you may have a chance to have your record expunged. If you qualify, the following steps can help rid your record of your previous lapse in judgement.
Eligibility for expungement
Not all convictions come with the possibility of expungement. The more serious the felony, the less likely it is going away. However, if your conviction does qualify, then familiarize yourself with the basic steps so that when the time comes, you can act.
Timing for application
Once you determine your conviction is eligible under Missouri law, you must figure out the timing of your application. That statute indicates you must wait three years to apply in misdemeanor cases and seven years for felony cases. There is a chance you do not have to wait so long, so check with your attorney for clarity.
File your application
When it comes to actually filing the application, make sure you do so in the court where your conviction occurred. For example, do not try to file for expungement in traffic court for drug charges. Make sure you also file your petition with the proper law enforcement and legal offices such as the prosecuting agency that took on your case. There is a filing fee of $250 unless you can show you do not have the means to pay it.
Waiting for word
Once you file your expungement application, the prosecutor in your case has 30 days to file an objection. The court will then set a hearing within 60 days of the objection. If your application goes by without any pushback, then the court will set a hearing date for 30 days out to finalize the expungement.
Getting a chance to clean up your record is important for your future. After a criminal conviction, check to see if your crime qualifies for expungement and get that fresh start.