You will need to hire an attorney to file a petition to expunge your MIP conviction, and there will be a hearing before a judge. The petition must be filed in the court where you were sentenced for the original MIP ticket.
If your request for an expungement is granted, all records of your arrest, plea, trial, and conviction will be removed from your criminal record.
You Must Be a First-Time Offender to Qualify For an MIP Expungement
In Missouri, you can request an MIP expungement if the following is true:
- At least 1 year has passed since you reached the age of 21
- You have not been convicted of any other alcohol-related offenses since the original MIP conviction
- You did not have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) when you received the MIP ticket
- You were not driving a commercial motor vehicle when you received the MIP ticket
How Many Times Are You Eligible For an MIP Expungement?
In Missouri, you are allowed to expunge only 1 Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP) conviction, and only if it’s a first-time offense.
For example, let’s say you pleaded guilty to MIP at age 17, and then 2 years later you pleaded guilty again to another MIP ticket. At that point, neither the first nor the second MIP conviction would be eligible for expungement.
Why Should You Try to Expunge Your Minor in Possession of Alcohol Conviction?
Having an alcohol-related conviction on your criminal record can affect your ability to do the following:
- Get accepted into college
- Get a job or an internship
- Rent an apartment
In addition, an MIP conviction will cause your license to be suspended for 30 days if it’s a first offense. Your license will be suspended for 90 days if it’s a second conviction, and it will be revoked for 1 year for a third MIP conviction.
When Can You Request an MIP Expungement?
You must wait until 1 year has passed after reaching age 21 before you can file a petition to expunge your MIP conviction.
How Long Does an MIP Conviction Stay On Your Criminal Record and Driving Record?
MIP convictions do NOT automatically “drop off” of your criminal record or driving record after a certain period of time.
- An MIP conviction stays on your criminal record forever unless you get it expunged
- An MIP conviction stays on your driving record forever unless you request that it be removed
If you have reached age 21 and 5 years have passed since your driver’s license was reinstated, you can send a written request to the Missouri Department of Revenue to ask them to remove the MIP conviction from your driving record.
How to Get Your Driver’s License Reinstated After Being Suspended For an MIP Conviction
- Complete the Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program (SATOP) and send proof to the Missouri Driver License Bureau
- Pay a $45 reinstatement fee to the Missouri Driver License Bureau
- If your license was suspended, you won’t have to re-take the driving test unless your license expired while on suspension and has been expired for more than 184 days (6 months)
- If your license was revoked (instead of suspended), you will have to re-take the driving test
- If your license was revoked (instead of suspended), you will have to submit an SR-22 form (get this from your insurance company to prove your car has liability coverage) for 2 years after your license revocation date
Hire an Attorney To Fight Your MIP Charge
If you have been charged with Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP) or Underage Drinking in Missouri but you have not pleaded guilty, you can hire an attorney to get your MIP ticket dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense, such as “Littering.”
Fighting your MIP charge in court is cheaper than pleading guilty and hiring an attorney to expunge your MIP conviction later.
If you already pleaded guilty, you can hire an attorney to withdraw your guilty plea and negotiate a plea bargain deal with the Prosecutor to get your MIP charge dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense.
Please note that withdrawing your guilty plea is more difficult if too much time has passed since your conviction date, or if you had an attorney representing you when you pleaded guilty.
If you need help with your Missouri Minor in Possession of Alcohol ticket, call St. Louis MIP lawyer Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email her at [email protected].