Expunging a 10 year old DWI in Missouri
Many people are completely unaware that they can expunge any record of a 10 year-old first time DWI. Most people assume that a DWI that old will not affect them. Reality is that a prior DWI, no matter how old, will negatively affect a person especially if a second DWI is alleged.
Do you Qualify for the Expungement?In Missouri a DWI that is 10 years old or older can be expunged regardless of whether the first DWI resulted in a conviction. 577.054 RS Mo dictates that a person with one prior DWI can have all records of that DWI expunged. This includes the criminal as well as administrative records.
I think I Qualify what do I have to Do?To receive the expungement one has to file a Petition in the same Court that the original plea or finding of guilt was made.The hiring of a competent attorney is vital to make sure all of the appropriate governmental record holders are given notice of the Petition and to make sure that the Petition complies with 577.054 R.S.Mo.
What is the effect of the Expungement?The expungement not only causes the Court records, but also the administrative records to be cleared. 577.054 RS Mo dictates that all that the effect of such expungment, "shall be to restore such person to the status he or she occupied prior to such arrest, plea or conviction as if such had never taken place."
Can the Expungment be DeniedThe critical element to the Expungement is that the Petitioner cannot have "an alcohol-related enforcement action pending at the time of the hearing...." In the event there has been such a contact the expungement will not be granted by the Court. For example, if someone has not filed for the expungement for 15 years after the first DWI and gets arrested on a new DWI, that person is no longer eligible to have the first DWI expunged even though they went well beyond 10 years without a second DWI. The arrest only of a second DWI likely shuts the door on a potential expugement.