Missouri DWI Expungement: Rules & Regulations

If you find yourself charged with a DWI, Driving While Intoxicated, you could face steep fines, possible jail time, and loss of driving privileges. But it doesn’t have to follow you the rest of your life; you may have the option to get your DWI charge expunged.

You may have heard about the new criminal expungement law in Missouri that went into effect on January 1, 2018. There is actually a completely separate law that’s been on the books for years which governs DWI expungements in Missouri. Learn about the law and see if you qualify.  

Please note that my office is not currently taking on expungement cases.

Tim Brown

Law Office of Timothy R. Brown

Tim Brown is a criminal and DWI lawyer in Springfield, MO and former assistant prosecuting attorney at the Greene County Prosecutors’s Office.

Tim is listed among the Nation’s Top 1% of Attorneys by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. Attorney Tim Brown has been recognized as a Top 40 Under 40 Trial Lawyer in Criminal Defense in Missouri by the National Trial Lawyers and the American Society of Legal Advocates. He has also been given a Superb Rating and rated a Top Attorney in DUI and Criminal Defense by AVVO.

Missouri DWI Expungement

What is DWI Expungement?

When a record or charge is expunged, any arrests or criminal conviction cease to exist due to the sealing of the record and you’ll go back to your record before the DWI.

This is different than the criminal expungement bill that recently went into effect on January 1, 2018 in Missouri. That bill covered many misdemeanors and felonies, but specifically excludes DWIs because there was already a law on the books that allowed DWI expungements in Missouri.

The biggest impediment to obtaining a DWI expungement in Missouri is time. There is a 10 year waiting period before you are able to expunge your conviction. With that said, it’s an extremely rewarding experience and as you’ve grown older it may be time to think about cleaning your record.

Benefits of a Missouri DWI Expungement

The biggest benefit of a Missouri DWI expungement is that it resets the number of DWIs on your record. For example, if you get a ten year old DWI expunged and then are charged with a DWI two years later, it will appear as if that was your first DWI. (Keep in mind that only your first DWI can be expunged). Missouri has strict punishments for multiple offenders, so expunging an old DWI may be in your best interest.

No matter where you are in Missouri, there are capable and effective criminal defense lawyers who can help you in a tough time. As a DWI lawyer Springfield MO, Tim Brown covers the Springfield metropolitan area and many neighboring counties.

Expungements will clear your driving record of the DWI and make obtaining employment easier as many companies ask about DWIs or DUI on their applications. Also, having a DWI may impact travel; some countries won’t allow those who have pled guilty to a Missouri DWI to enter, such as Canada.

Who Qualifies for Missouri DWI Expungement?

Those who:

  • Have a DWI that occurred at least ten years ago.
  • Were charged with a misdemeanor, not a felony.
  • Have no other alcohol-related offenses pending or on record (i.e. open container, providing to minors).
  • Have not obtained a CDL since the time of the DWI.

Missouri DWI Expungement

My office is not currently taking on expungement cases.

Missouri DWI Expungement Statute

Missouri’s Unique DWI Expungement Law

Under new law, other criminal charges in Missouri may be expunged, not just DWIs. This means that those with non-violent crimes and misdemeanors may have a chance to start over with a clean slate.

How DWI Expungement is Different Than the New Regular Expungement Law

DWI offenses have different criteria than the new regular expungement law, which covers minor charges like illegal gambling, tampering, and negligent burning. While those with a DWI in Missouri must wait ten years and have no other alcohol-related offenses, those wishing to expunge charges under the new law don’t have to wait as long. Misdemeanors can be expunged after three years and felonies after seven. Also, a person may expunge up to one felony offense or two misdemeanors, versus the one misdemeanor for DWIs.

Missouri DWI Expungement Statute Text

2013 Missouri Revised Statutes
TITLE XXXVIII CRIMES AND PUNISHMENT; PEACE OFFICERS AND PUBLIC DEFENDERS
Chapter 577 Public Safety Offenses
Section 577.054 Alcohol-related driving offenses, expunged from records, when–procedures, effect–limitations

Cases can be found using Missouri Casenet, we provide information on Casenet here.

Universal Citation: MO Rev Stat § 577.054 (2013)

Alcohol-related driving offenses, expunged from records, when–procedures, effect–limitations

577.054. 1. After a period of not less than ten years, an individual who has pleaded guilty or has been convicted for a first alcohol-related driving offense which is a misdemeanor or a county or city ordinance violation and which is not a conviction for driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and who since such date has not been convicted of any other alcohol-related driving offense may apply to the court in which he or she pled guilty or was sentenced for an order to expunge from all official records all recordations of his or her arrest, plea, trial or conviction.

If the court determines, after hearing, that such person has not been convicted of any subsequent alcohol-related driving offense, has no other subsequent alcohol-related enforcement contacts as defined in section 302.525, and has no other alcohol-related driving charges or alcohol-related enforcement actions pending at the time of the hearing on the application, the court shall enter an order of expungement.

Upon granting of the order of expungement, the records and files maintained in any administrative or court proceeding in an associate or circuit division of the circuit court under this section shall be confidential and only available to the parties or by order of the court for good cause shown. The effect of such order shall be to restore such person to the status he or she occupied prior to such arrest, plea or conviction and as if such event had never taken place.

No person as to whom such order has been entered shall be held thereafter under any provision of any law to be guilty of perjury or otherwise giving a false statement by reason of his or her failure to recite or acknowledge such arrest, plea, trial, conviction or expungement in response to any inquiry made of him or her for any purpose whatsoever and no such inquiry shall be made for information relating to an expungement under this section.

A person shall only be entitled to one expungement pursuant to this section. Nothing contained in this section shall prevent the director from maintaining such records as to ensure that an individual receives only one expungement pursuant to this section for the purpose of informing the proper authorities of the contents of any record maintained pursuant to this section.

2. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any individual who has been issued a commercial driver’s license or is required to possess a commercial driver’s license issued by this state or any other state.

(L. 1989 1st Ex. Sess. H.B. 3 § 2, A.L. 2004 S.B. 1233, et al., A.L. 2005 S.B. 422, A.L. 2010 H.B. 1695, et al.)

(2009) Section authorizes courts to expunge all records of a driver’s administrative alcohol suspension and to make those records confidential. S.S. v. Mitchell, 289 S.W.3d 797 (Mo.App. E.D.).

Missouri DWI Expungement

The sooner you know your status, the sooner you can get a clean record.

Missouri DWI Expungement Cost

How Much Does It Cost to Have a Missouri DWI Expunged?

The cost to have a Missouri DWI expunged can be broken down into categories: filing fees and attorney fees. Filing fees may vary, but it’s generally $250 to file a petition with the court to expunge your record. The attorney’s fees will depend on the individual attorney. It’s best to compare prices when researching attorneys.

Process to Get a DWI Expungement in Missouri

  1. Hire an attorney. Look for one who is well-versed in DWI expungement in Missouri.
  2. Pay the $250 fee and file a petition to expunge your DWI with the court where you were found guilty of the offense. If you are low-income, the fee may be waived.
  3. Name the Missouri Director of Revenue as party to the petition so they may review it.
  4. Make it quicker and easier for your attorney to request and collect pertinent information regarding your DWI charge by writing down a list of all the police stations, courts, prosecutors, and others who may possess records of your offense.
  5. Wait. The State may file an objection to your petition within thirty days. If there is no objection, a hearing must be held within sixty days.

The entire process may take up to a year. A helpful link in this process is the directory of municipal courts provided by the State of Missouri. Here, you can find a link to every court in the State and better prepare to make arrangements for any court records and information you’ll need.

Even though it may seem like this is a long, arduous process – it’s certainly rewarding in the end. You don’t have to let one mistake tarnish your name for the rest of your life. Even if it’s not a major nuisance, you’ve moved on with your life and deserve to have your good name back.

Missouri DWI Expungement

A criminal record was your past, it doesn’t have to be your future.

Missouri DWI Expungement – Felony

Felony DWIs Are Not Covered

Typically, first time DWI offenders are charged with misdemeanors and will be eligible to expunge their record after ten years. If a second offense is committed, it will also be treated as a misdemeanor and you’ll be subject to similar fines and jail time as the first offense. However, a second offense will make you unable to expunge your record under the law.

DWIs are serious stuff. They can critically impact your future when it comes to job prospects, freedom, and permanent criminal record. Speaking with a Springfield MO DWI lawyer at the beginning of your first offense is the best way to mitigate the problems you’ll face down the line.

Third, fourth, and fifth DWI offense are often classified as felonies and felony DWIs are not covered or allowed under expungement eligibility. When a person gets three or more DWI offenses within the ten years before they can expunge the charge, they are considered a persistent, aggravated, chronic, or habitual offender. Multiple offenses permanently bar them from expungement.

Missouri DWI Class E Felony

  • Considered a Persistent Offender.
  • Acting with criminal negligence to cause physical injury to another person, law enforcement officer, or emergency personnel.

Missouri DWI Class D Felony

  • Considered an Aggravated Offender.
  • Acting with criminal negligence to cause physical injury to another person, law enforcement officer, or emergency personnel.

Missouri DWI Class C Felony

  • Considered a Chronic Offender.
  • Acts with criminal negligence to cause serious injury to law enforcement and emergency personnel or death to another person.

Missouri DWI Class B Felony

  • Considered a Habitual Offender.
  • Acts with criminal negligence to cause the death of a law enforcement officer or emergency personnel.

As you’ve probably noticed by now, it’s important to take action as soon as your first DWI offense happens. DWIs stay on your record without mitigation and the consequences continue to get worse with each new charge. A lot of the worst punishments are preventable if you hire strong legal counsel for the DWI defense.

Don’t be ashamed or let fear keep you from improving your future. Step up and take care of the business at hand.

Missouri DWI Expungement

Wipe the slate clean and get your DWI expunged.

Missouri DUI Expungement

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in MO?

A DUI (known as a DWI in Missouri) stays on your in Missouri for the remainder of your life. Missouri has a “look back” law, so all previous offenses will count toward the total number of offenses, regardless of how much time has passed.

So, if you are charged with a DWI and ten years pass, and you don’t expunge your charge, you’re in danger of being subjected to the penalties a second offense carries if you re-offend.

If you successfully go through the expungement process and then get another DWI, it will count as your first because your record is sealed. It’s a good idea to petition for a Missouri DUI expungement because a third offense carries a penalty of around four years in jail.

Contacting an attorney about your Missouri DWI may seem like a big hassle and waste of money, but it’s not. It’s an investment in your future. Consider your future and what you want it to look like before tucking a DWI under the rug and resolving to ‘deal with it later.’ There is nothing to be ashamed about – we all make mistakes. It’s simply a matter of getting up and taking some action to protect your future.

Missouri DWI Expungement

It may seem daunting, but with the help of a former prosecutor, it’s possible for you too.

DWI Expungement

Effects of DWI Expungement

One effect of DWI expungement is you can deny you were ever convicted of a DWI under oath in court and it won’t be considered perjury by the Missouri Courts. But that’s not the only perk – you don’t have to disclose it on job or college applications. However, when applying for public licenses (realtor or state bar) or a position in law enforcement, for example, it’s best to be honest about the DWI. Also, your DWI will not show up on background checks to rent apartments, making finding a place to live easier!

You’ve paid for your crime and how it’s time to enjoy your life to the fullest and a big part of that is restoring all your rights that you are entitled to. A Missouri DWI expungement takes everything back to a level playing field.

If you are considering expunging your record of that old DWI charge, there’s no better time. A good lawyer can help you through the entire process and allow you to start over. After all, it’s your life and you should be free to live it.

Missouri DWI Expungement

There is nothing to lose by calling, why not know if it’s possible?

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Feel free to call or email now.  Please note that I only offer free case reviews after verifying there is not a conflict of interest and only provide them for the criminal defense cases I handle in Greene County, Missouri.  Please do not include any details about your case in the message aside from the type of charge.  Thank you.

DISCLAIMER:

Use of this website does not create an attorney-client relationship.  The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisement.

 

A Former Greene County Prosecutor in your Corner

Perhaps, the most effective tool you can have going against a Greene County prosecutor is having someone on your side who has had that job before.

Timothy Brown is considered one of the best DWI lawyers in Springfield, MO, but prior to beginning his private practice, he served as a Greene County, Missouri, prosecutor. It was here that Mr. Brown tried cases and amassed tremendous courtroom experience. Mr. Brown knows how prosecutors will be thinking about your case because he used to be in their shoes.

Led by Greene County Prosecuting Attorney, Dan Patterson, the state has an entire staff of prosecutors ready to begin attacking your case. Hiring one of the best DWI lawyers in Springfield, MO, is your best defense.

Accolades, Awards & Memberships

Tim has devoted the majority of his legal career to defending those charged with criminal cases and his work has not gone unnoticed. The accolades bestowed upon him clearly place him in the category as one of the best DWI lawyers in Springfield, MO.

He has received the following recognitions for his criminal and DWI defense work:

  • Recognized in the Nation’s Top 1% by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel, after an exhaustive vetting process.
  • Top 40 Under 40 Trial Lawyer in Criminal Defense in Missouri by the National Trial Lawyers
  • Awarded a Superb Rating and rated a Top Attorney in DUI and Criminal Defense by AVVO, an independent, national rating service.
  • Top 40 Under 40 Trial Lawyer in Criminal Defense in Missouri by the American Society of Legal Advocates

Client Reviews & Satisfaction Rating

As someone who has been arrested for a DWI in Springfield, MO, you probably want to see solid proof that your attorney has been successful before. All attorneys will speak to their best qualities, but client reviews can show you exactly what you’re getting with Timothy Brown.

Tim has achieved a 10.0 rating on AVVO based on client feedback.

 

These are REAL REVIEWS from REAL CLIENTS:

I've hired Tim Brown 3 times and he is THE BEST

Tim is Extremely professional. Extremely detail oriented. He helped me in absolutely every way he could and is always a phone call away. He treated me like he's known me all his life. Three cases total and kills it every time.

Rating: 5 Stars

Amazing.

He is an amazing lawyer. I am very glad I hired Tim. He fought through this case for me providing the key facts, making sure I was calm listened to me and really showed he cared. He really knows what he is doing.

Rating: 5 Stars

I feel confident leaving an excellent review.

I recently hired Mr. Brown to defend me against a charge for which I was acquitted. He was personable, accessible and kept me in the loop regarding all aspects of the case. It was a positive experience which led to a positive outcome. I would highly recommend his work.

Rating: 5 Stars

The best around!!

I don't know what my daughter and myself would do without Tim!!! He worked so hard, from the time he was hired to the last minute of a trial, and we wouldn't be where we are without him. He fought for an entire year and finally, we got what we needed! He was super invested in my case and I would trust him with any case I may have. If you're hiring Tim, you're hiring the best!

Rating: 5 Stars

Excellent Lawyer

Tim has helped me and my wife in multiple cases and has found him to be trustworthy, honest, and hard working. He was worth every penny.

Rating: 5 Stars

Knowledgeable, makes it easy for you and gets things done fast.

I highly recommend calling Timothy Brown for any legal issues. The first thing I noticed when I called and spoke to Timothy was that he was very knowledgeable and great at explaining everything so that I felt very comfortable with every step of the legal process and what my best options were. Not only was I impressed with his approach, I was also impressed with his prompt follow up and especially how he gets results (I no longer will be getting points added to my license for this incident). I will be calling Timothy Brown if I ever need an attorney again and recommending him to anyone I know who needs a lawyer as I could tell he knows how to get things done because he knows the ins and outs of the legal system.

If you are looking for a good lawyer, call Timothy and tell him about your situation because I guarantee you'll know you found the right lawyer by the end of that call. I know I did.

Rating: 5 Stars

Very Artful Negotiator

Mr. Brown is very knowledgeable about the family court system. He is a good listener and does his research quickly and thoroughly. I recommended him to a friend who was having ex-spouse trouble. Mr. Brown helped my friend navigate through an extremely difficult legal situation with very satisfactory results. Five Stars!!!

Rating: 5 Stars

DISCLAIMER:

Use of this website does not create an attorney-client relationship.  The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.