Expunging or Sealing Adult Criminal Records in Missouri

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In Missouri, your criminal record may qualify for expungement or sealing -- called "closure" under Missouri law -- if you were arrested for a crime but not convicted. Under most circumstances, if your record is expunged or closed, you will not have to state that you were arrested. It is not possible to expunge or close a criminal conviction.

Expungement or Closure of Arrest Records in Missouri

Expungement of an arrest record. Your arrest record is eligible for expungement -- meaning that it will be destroyed or erased -- if the arrest was based on false information and all of the following statements are true:

  • there was no probable cause to believe you committed the crime
  • you were not charged with a crime
  • you have no prior or subsequent misdemeanor or felony convictions
  • you did not receive a suspended imposition of sentence for the offense, and
  • no civil action is pending related to the arrest or records you want to expunge.

(Missouri Revised Statutes § 610.122.)

You may petition for expungement using the form discussed below.

Closure of an arrest record. Your arrest record may qualify for closure -- meaning that it will be hidden from public view -- if you were arrested and charged and one of the following conditions applies:

  • the charges were dropped (nolle prossed)
  • the charges were dismissed
  • you were found not guilty, or
  • imposition of sentence was suspended.

(Missouri Revised Statutes § 610.105.)

If this law applies to you, your record should have been automatically closed by the court. If that did not happen, consult the court clerk or a criminal defense attorney for instructions on how to proceed.

Expungement or Closure of Criminal Convictions in Missouri

Missouri does not permit the expungement or closure of convictions. If you were convicted of a crime in Missouri and want information about clearing your criminal record, consult a qualified criminal law attorney.

How to File

You can find a Petition for Expungement of Arrest Record at the website of the Missouri Courts. You must file the petition in the Circuit Court of the county where the arrest occurred.

Getting Legal Help

Cleaning up a criminal record can be complicated. If you are not sure whether your record qualifies for expungement in Missouri -- or for advice about your personal situation -- you should contact an experienced criminal law attorney. A good lawyer can guide you each step of the way.

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