People & Puppies – both deserve second chances.
We got a new COVID critter at my house. George Harrison arrived April 14, and we all fell in love with the little ankle biter. He literally bites ankles by the way, just ask my kids. George Harrison gets lots of second chances in our house no matter what felonies and misdemeanors he gets on his record.
Life for humans, however, is not near as forgiving. Adults in this country have only had one chance to make a felony level mistake and then they have generally been stamped with the convicted felon tag. The collateral consequences of that tag are great. It can limit your job opportunities, your living arrangements, and many other strange and punitive consequences for relatively minor, nonviolent violations of the law.
The Missouri Constitution says, for instance, that you can’t be on the Horse Racing Commission if you have been convicted of a felony, though I don’t think there is a functioning Horse Racing Commission, you couldn’t be on it pursuant to our state Constitution Article III, Section 39(c). The thought here is you get picked up with anything other than marijuana in your possession, and you run into the right county in this state, and you just may find yourself with a Felony charge. That charge could end many of your plans, but the prosecutor offers you an SIS probation.
This is a type of probation and it is an acronym for Suspended Imposition of Sentence, usually in the Country they want the full five years of probation, but in more urban settings it is typically three years.
SIS probations are once the same and exactly the opposite of suspended execution of sentence (SES) probations. SES and SIS probations look the same in practice, as you are placed on probation for a term of years, to be supervised by Missouri Probation and Parole, which is part of the Department of Corrections. This time tics off at two days for every day a probationer goes violation free on nonviolent offenses.
However, when you go on probation for an SES probation the Court says they are going to sentence you to a term of years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and suspends the execution of that term of years, or sentence.
The SIS has some pretty important limitations to note, as it isn’t technically a conviction under Missouri law. But it’s like kissing your college girl friend’s roommate, you don’t have to admit it, but it really never goes away and you’re always worried the wrong person will find out.
This week, we are going to take a look at the different types of expungements in Missouri, and how they impact the different types of convictions
So, if you get an SIS probation to a nonviolent crime, and you serve your probation successfully, the file becomes a sealed record within the Courthouse so no one except for lawyers, clerks, and judges can see it anymore. This means it is also off of case.net, the publicly searchable web site that everyone who is charged in Missouri state court with any criminal conduct can find their name.
It is the best way to get probation, if you have to have probation, but I don’t like telling people it “goes away,” as many lawyers say it does. We live in a world of data mining and background check for profit companies, they automatically scan case.net for information and sometimes they can tell you pleaded guilty to a felony.
The federal authorities can always tell, and can still use it to get you a as a prior felony, and state prosecutors can still use it to enhance your charges as well.
Once you’ve gotten through a criminal case it’s tough to know who you have to tell about your history and who you don’t have to tell. It’s dicey, and it’s changing from year to year.
Should you expunge that SES or the SIS conviction? Are there other matters that The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at the Benjamin Law firm can help you put behind you with expungements?
This week, we are going to take a look at the different types of expungements in Missouri, and how they impact the different kinds of convictions. This week we hope to bring some clarity to what your options are after you are convicted.
So, this week will be for second chances and cleaning up messes (No George!).