Can You Get Out of a DWI in Missouri?
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 an intoxication related traffic offense.
Fortunately, the Missouri DWI expungement law allows these charges to be erased from your criminal 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 Missouri DUI 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 and files maintained in any administrative or court proceeding are sealed, and the state keeps them confidential so they are no longer visible to the public.
A DWI expungement 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 alcohol-related driving offense or intoxication-related boating offenses and has not been convicted for any intoxication-related traffic or boating offense in the ten years since the first offense can get their criminal record expunged.
When Can You Get a DWI Expungement?
A person must wait at least ten years after the conviction and complete their probation or parole period before they can apply for expungement.
What Is The Expungement Process?
The expungement process in Missouri is quite straightforward. Here are the steps:
1. Determine if You Qualify for Expungement
As mentioned before, not everyone is eligible to have their records expunged. Before proceeding with this process, you must meet specific criteria outlined by the statute.
2. Gather the Required Documents
You must have all the necessary documents ready before applying for an expungement. The required documents include the following:
- A copy of your driver’s license or state-issued ID
- A copy of the court order for the conviction
- All papers related to your DWI case
3. Complete and Submit the Application
Once your documents are ready, complete and submit the application for expungement. Also, you must include the filing fee for the application.
4. Await the Court’s Decision
After submitting the application and supporting documents, you must wait for a court decision. The court will review your application and decide if your records can be expunged.
If the court grants your application, they will issue an order to seal your criminal record and remove the conviction from your record
- A person can only have one expungement under the statute throughout their lifetime.
- DWI expungement does not apply to commercial drivers or someone driving a commercial motor vehicle.
- The expungement can only be for the first DWI offense a person commits.
- The alcohol-related enforcement actions must be a misdemeanor, a city or county ordinance violation.
Contact an Experience Attorney if You Need Help
The expungement process can be quite complicated for a layperson. It is sometimes hard to understand the law, determine if you meet all the criteria, and even prepare and submit the application. Therefore, it is advisable to get experienced legal counsel to help you through the process.
An attorney can provide more insight into the process and ensure your application meets all the requirements. An attorney can also represent you in a court proceeding if necessary. This will help to increase your chances of having a successful expungement.
Additionally, an attorney can help you understand the limitations and consequences of a DWI expungement in Missouri. With the right help and guidance, you can secure a clean criminal record that will tremendously benefit you.
Contact the Missouri DWI Criminal Law Center today for the best legal assistance in deleting your DWI record. We have experienced attorneys who can guide you through this complex process and provide the best legal counsel.