Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), also called Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and other alcohol-related driving offenses often attract steep penalties. You might have to pay a fine, lose some driving privileges, or worse, go to jail. However, a DWI conviction usually has farther-reaching consequences.

The effect of a conviction could last your entire lifetime in the form of lost opportunities. Also, you may find it hard to get affordable car insurance or bank loans with a DWI conviction.

Fortunately, the Missouri DWI expungement law allows these charges to be erased from your record, giving you a fresh slate. However, you can only have your DWI expunged if you meet specific strict requirements. Therefore if you’d like to get a DWI expungement, you need to discover whether you meet these criteria and what expungement entails.


What Does a DWI Expungement Entail?


An expungement means that the conviction is removed from your criminal records. It could also mean that the records are sealed, and the state keeps them confidential, so they are no longer visible to the public.

With a DWI expungement, it will not be counted as perjury if you do not mention the conviction in a court proceeding. You don’t have to acknowledge that such a record existed in most cases. Furthermore, your record will not appear in a criminal background check by potential employers or other members of the public.

Also, if your record gets expunged and you get another DWI, the second DWI will reflect in your records as the first one. This can be tremendously helpful to your life since most employers, law enforcement agencies, and the court would not take kindly to a habitual offender.


Missouri DWI Expungement Statute


The Missouri DWI expungement statute contains a detailed breakdown of who can get an expungement, when such a person can, the procedure to go through, and the limitations.

Below are some provisions of the law:


Who Can Get a DWI Expunged?

  • A person who gave a guilty plea or was convicted of an intoxication-related traffic offense or intoxication-related boating offenses who ALSO
  • Has not been convicted for any intoxication-related traffic or boating offense in the ten years since the first offense.


When Can You Get a DWI Expungement?

  • At least ten years after a DWI conviction.
  • The probation or parole period must be complete.


What Is The Expungement Process?

  • Gather all relevant documents.
  • Complete an application form, pay the fee and submit the form and documents to the court where you got your conviction.
  • Await the court’s decision (The court is not mandated to grant your petition, so getting experienced legal counsel could help).


Some Limitations:

  • A person can only have only one expungement pursuant to the statute through their lifetime.
  • DWI expungement does not apply to commercial drivers or someone who was driving a commercial vehicle.
  • The expungement can only be for the first DWI offense a person commits.
  • The intoxication-related traffic offense must be a misdemeanor, a city or county ordinance violation.

So can you expunge a DWI in Missouri? Yes, you can. However, the process is a little complicated. Contact the Missouri DWI Criminal Law Center for legal advice and experienced guidance on getting your DUI conviction expunged.