The following drug & alcohol-related convictions stay on your Missouri driving record forever:
- DUI/DWI (Driving While Intoxicated)
- DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs)
- Excessive BAC (Blood Alcohol Content)
Please Note: It is possible to get a first-time DUI conviction expunged after 10 years of good behavior. (See below for further information regarding expungement of a first-time DUI.)
Types of Convictions That Stay on Your Missouri Driving Record Forever
In a previous blog post about convictions that stay on your driving record forever, I listed the types of convictions that remain permanently on your Missouri driving record. In addition to DUI, DUID, and Excessive BAC, the following convictions stay on your Missouri driving record forever and are not eligible for removal:
- No Insurance
- No Drivers License (state, not municipal)
- Vehicular Manslaughter
- Driving While Suspended or Revoked
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident (state, not municipal)
- Any Felony
What is Expungement?
Expungement is the removal or deletion of all court records of your arrest, plea, trial or conviction. The only types of alcohol-related convictions that are eligible for expungement in Missouri are first-time DUI or MIP convictions. The option of expungement is not available for felony DUIs or for anyone convicted of driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
How to Get a First-Time DUI Conviction Expunged
Missouri law allows anyone who pleaded guilty to, or was convicted of, a first-time misdemeanor DUI to apply to have the court expunge (remove or delete) the DUI charge 10 years after the offense occurred, as long as the individual has had no other alcohol-related driving convictions, “alcohol-related enforcement contacts,” or any pending “alcohol-related enforcement actions” within the 10-year period since the conviction. See Missouri statute RSMo 302.525.3 for an explanation of what is an alcohol-related law enforcement contact.
If a judge finds that you meet these requirements, then the court will enter an order of expungement, and all records of your DUI arrest, plea, trial, or conviction will be deleted.
How to Get an MIP Conviction Expunged
For a first-time MIP conviction to be expunged, you must show that you have had no other alcohol-related convictions or “alcohol-related enforcement contacts” since the original MIP conviction, and that you are applying for expungement at least 1 year after the original conviction date, or after you have reached age 21.
Marijuana and Drug Paraphernalia Convictions Stay on Your Criminal Record Forever and Can Not be Expunged
If a police officer pulls you over for a traffic stop and charges you with possession of drugs (marijuana) or drug paraphernalia (such as a pipe) and you are convicted of those charges, no points will be added to your Missouri driving record for that conviction. However, a conviction for possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia will remain on your criminal record forever.
An Attorney May be Able to Get Your Drug Possession Charges Reduced to a Lesser Offense
When facing a misdemeanor charge of possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia, you can hire an attorney to negotiate a plea bargain with the court to get your drug charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense, so they won’t show up on your permanent criminal record. Keep in mind that your chances of success are not as good if you have multiple prior drug-related convictions on your record.
The outcome of your case depends on which court your case is being prosecuted in, your criminal history, and the details of your specific case.
While expungement is an option for some first-time DWI or MIP convictions, drug-related convictions can never be expunged from your Missouri criminal record.
The Court May Order You to Attend “ADEP” or “SATOP” Class
If your attorney is able to get your drug possession charges reduced to a lesser offense, you will have to pay a fine and court costs, and you may also be required to take a court-ordered class, such as “ADEP” (Alcohol and Drug Education Program) or “SATOP” (Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program).
Depending on the facts of your case, you may be offered an “SIS” (Suspended Imposition of Sentence) and 1 or 2 years of unsupervised probation. With an “SIS,” no conviction is entered on your permanent record if you successfully complete your period of probation without any further convictions.
If You Have Already Pleaded Guilty to Drug Possession Charges, an Attorney May be Able to Withdraw Your Guilty Plea
If you have already pleaded guilty to drug charges, it may be possible for an attorney to withdraw your guilty plea and negotiate a plea bargain with the court to have your drug charges reduced to a lesser offense.
However, if too much time has passed since your guilty plea, or if you were originally represented by an attorney when you pleaded guilty, the court may not allow the withdrawal. For more information, go to the Withdrawal of Guilty Plea page on my website.
If you have been charged with possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia and would like a price quote for legal representation, contact St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email her at [email protected]
[This post was updated on November 11, 2013.]