Driving While Intoxicated, also known as DWI in Missouri, is an offense that can have an effect on your life forever. It stays on your driving record, and it glares at you menacingly from your criminal record as well. It comes up in background checks, and an employer or school may ask about it during their application process. Luckily, in the State of Missouri, an individual who has been convicted of DWI can have the dark mark expunged from their record, provided they have met a few requirements. If you need help purging a DWI from your record, contact the experienced Kansas City DWI attorneys at Cornerstone Law Firm.
Criteria for DWI Expungement in Kansas City, MO
The most important thing to note is that an expungement is only available for drivers convicted of DWI for the first time. If you are a repeat offender, erasing this from your record is not an option. This legal relief is only available once in a lifetime for an individual. Additionally, if you are a commercial driving operator with a commercial driver’s license, you cannot get the offense cleared.
In order to meet the prerequisites for a possible expungement qualification, a DWI must stay on your record for at least ten years after the conviction. In order to obtain an expungement, there are steps that need to be taken within the Missouri Court of Law so that it can be cleared from both your criminal as well as driving record.
First and foremost, the conviction must be for a DWI misdemeanor and not a felony offense. You then must apply for the expungement in the court of conviction. In order to apply, it must be at least ten years after the date of the conviction, as opposed to the date of the offense. The offender cannot have any other alcohol or intoxicated related offenses on their record since the DWI occurred. As an expungement is only allowed once in a lifetime, you cannot have any that were obtained in the past.
Once the expungement petition is granted, you must appear at an evidentiary hearing and prove that you have had no other alcohol-related police or other enforcement contact or charges pending in the interim. If all of the prerequisites have been met, a plea can then be entered, and a judge will decide whether or not to grant the expungement. It is recommended to obtain an attorney for these proceedings.
If the expungement is granted, your legal status returns to what it was prior to the DWI offense. The slate is essentially wiped clean, and the DWI is gone. This goes so far as having the ability to answer “no” when asked if you were ever arrested or convicted of a DWI, whether on a school application or a job interview. An expungement, while it may take time and cost money, can give the offender a fresh start for work, school, and driving.
Contact the DWI expungement experts at Cornerstone Law Firm in Kansas City Missouri if you need help with your case.