You can get an arrest expunged from your permanent criminal record, but only if you were arrested based on false information and no charges were filed against you. The applicable Missouri statute related to expungement (removal) of arrest records is RSMo 610.122.
What Do You Have to Prove to Get an Arrest Expunged?
To get an arrest record removed from your permanent criminal record, you must prove the following:
1) Your arrest was based on false information,
2) There is no probable cause, at the time of the action to expunge, to believe you committed the offense,
3) No charges will be pursued as a result of the arrest,
4) You have had no prior or subsequent misdemeanor or felony convictions,
5) You did not receive an SIS (Suspended Imposition of Sentence) for the offense for which you were arrested, or for any related offense,
6) No civil action is pending relating to the arrest or the records you are trying to expunge.
So, if you were arrested but the the police let you go after they realized they had mistakenly arrested the wrong person based on false information, then you have a very good chance of getting the record of your arrest expunged.
But if you were arrested and charged with a criminal offense, and your attorney was able to negotiate a plea bargain deal so you received an SIS with probation, the record of that arrest can not be expunged from your criminal record.
You Don’t Have to Hire an Attorney to Get an Arrest Record Expunged
You can hire an attorney to file a petition for expungement of your Missouri arrest record, or you can file the petition yourself. Click here for the petition for expungement form. You will have to submit your fingerprints and pay a fee to file the petition. Then there will be a hearing before a judge, and if the judge denies your petition for expungement, you will have to wait a year to re-file.
How to Get a Criminal Conviction Expunged from your Criminal Record
Getting a conviction expunged is different from getting an arrest record expunged. Only a few types of misdemeanor convictions and felony convictions qualify for expungement, and only after 10 years (for misdemeanors) or 20 years (for felonies) of good behavior. If you want information about getting a conviction expunged from your criminal record, click here to read my previous blog post about Missouri criminal conviction expungement.
If you have questions about getting an arrest record or conviction expunged, call St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email her at [email protected]