Updates on 2018 Expungement Laws for Kansas City

Hi, I'm Matt O'Connor from the O'Connor Law Firm here in Kansas City, Missouri, with
an update on the expungement laws.

Remember, the choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based on
advertising alone. Beginning January 1, 2018, you will be able to expunge, that is, take
away any prior convictions if you meet certain qualifications. Now, of course, there are
exceptions to the rule, such as some violent crimes, intoxicated offenses, and things like
harming police dogs. You need to read the statute very carefully, of course, and consult
your attorney. The good news is if you meet the qualifications and your habits and
conduct demonstrate you are not a threat to public safety and the expungement is
consistent with the public welfare and interest of justice warrant the expungement, what
happens is, the burden of proof shifts to the prosecuting attorney, circuit attorney or
municipal prosecuting attorney to rebut the presumption that you should be allowed to
have that conviction or arrest expunged.

There are, of course, exceptions. Many crimes are not allowed to be expunged, such as
crimes involving sex crimes and crimes involving intoxication. You have to go through
the statute carefully to determine whether or not you are able to have your arrest or
conviction expunged. What is significant is the amount of time you have to wait. It used
to be 20 years for a felony and 10 years for a misdemeanor. Now, it is seven years for a
felony and three years for a misdemeanor whether it is a conviction or an arrest. That is a
significant change. What it does is it opens the door for people who have been lawful
and abiding good citizens for several years to expunge convictions or arrests for things
like marijuana, other nonviolent crimes and nonsexual crimes. They can do so by
following the strictures of the statute that was enacted by the governor this last year,
which goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

So, let's go through what you will need to do to have a successful petition for
expungement in Missouri, on January 1, 2018, when this new law goes into effect. You
will need to know the name of the agency that arrested you and for the offense, the case
number and the name of the court for each offense. You will have to get your
fingerprints on a standard fingerprint card at the time of the filing of the expungement.
So, you have to attach that with the expungement. Once that happens, the clerk of the
court will give notice of the petition to the prosecuting attorney, circuit attorney or
municipal prosecuting attorney that prosecuted the particular offense, because they have
to file their objection within 30 days of receipt of the petition, and the court may hold the
hearing within 60 days of the petition being filed.

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Learn More about 2018 Expungement Laws in Kansas City

Here is what they will do at a hearing. They will hear evidence on several factors to
determine whether or not you are eligible. For example, you will find out if it is a felony
arrest or a conviction that you are trying to have expunged and that it has been more than
seven years. If it is a misdemeanor, they will determine if it has been more than three
years since the conviction or arrest. If you have any current pending charges, the court
will not look favorably on that, and that is one of the factors that will probably lead to it
not being granted. They will also look at whether you satisfied all of your obligations
under the prior offense.

For example, if you are put on probation, they will look at whether you paid all your
fines, completed the probation or community service and all those kinds of things. They
will also look at, very importantly, your behavior since the conviction or arrest, and
whether your habits demonstrate you are not a threat to public safety or to the welfare of
the state, and most importantly that your expungement is consistent with the welfare of
the State in the interest of justice warrant expungement.

So, if you have been a good person, lead a good life after making your mistake, and your
criminal history is looking spotless afterwards, you have a pretty good chance. At least
you will be at the discretion of the court, as in the statute would indicate that you have a
fairly good shot at obtaining the expungement.

So, if at the end of the hearing, the court determines that you meet the requirements of the
statute and that your conviction or arrest should be expunged, the court will issue an
order that will be sent to all the appropriate agencies, so your prior arrest or conviction is
expunged.

Going into effect January 1, 2018, Expungement Law changes. A lot of new cases, and a
lot of new crimes that previously could not be expunged may now be expunged. The
time limit is very significant. It used to be 10 years for a misdemeanor and 20 years for
felony. Now, it is three years for misdemeanor and seven years for a felony. Things like
a marijuana conviction can be expunged and taken off your record to clean up your
record. Again, you need to make sure you meet the requirements and consult with your
local attorney, of course, before making any decisions in that regard. This is not intended
for legal advice, just for public information. I hope it's been helpful.

This is Matt O'Connor for the O'Connor Law Firm giving you an update on the Missouri

Expungement Laws going into effect January 1, 2018.


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