An expungement is the “wiping away” of a record. Different types of criminal records can be expunged in certain circumstances: arrest records, records of diversions or suspended imposition of sentences (SIS), or criminal convictions. However, the law of expungements in Kansas and Missouri is complicated, and requires an experienced attorney to navigate waters that can quickly become turbulent.
Kansas has a specific statutory scheme whereby a person can apply to have various types of criminal conviction records, diversion records, and arrest records expunged. Expungement petitions can be submitted in municipal and state courts for all types of records related to criminal cases. In this regard, Kansas actually is quite a favorable jurisdiction in which this type of legal action can be undertaken. There are some complications, however.
In Kansas, courts are required to use the version of the expungement laws that existed at the time the underlying offense took place, not the version of the law that currently exists. For example, suppose a person in 2014 wanted to try to expunge an arrest record, diversion record, or conviction for something that happened in 2003. The court would apply the law that existed in 2003. And this can get very complicated, because (like many laws) the expungement laws can change significantly from year to year. Very often, in depth legal research will need to be done to ensure that the older versions of the law and Senate Bills are properly taken into account. Laws change over time, and it is critical to have an experienced attorney examine the details of your situation.
The state of Missouri also has a very detailed statutory procedure for expunging old convictions and arrest records. Readers are encouraged to consult the article we have posted here specifically about this topic. It can be found by clicking here. Here again, it is critical to consult with an attorney, as people often think they understand the details of this area without being aware of the key nuances. In Missouri, a civil petition is filed to expunge certain types of offenses or arrest records, and a hearing before a circuit judge is held on the matter. The judge decides if the requirements for expungement have been met.
To further complicate things, there can be waiting periods before a person can apply for expungement of certain offenses. Depending on the nature of the offense, these periods are variable. Because this area of the law is complex and contains many nuances, it is vital to consult with an attorney before drawing any conclusion on your own that you believe to be valid.
For example, the expungement rules for alcohol-related driving cases and sex offenses have changed greatly over the years, and a detailed analysis of your situation is needed by an attorney before any final conclusions can be drawn.
At Phillips & Thomas LLC, we have many years of experience handling complex expungements, pardons, and executive clemency applications in Kansas and Missouri (municipal and state courts), as well as at the federal level for federal criminal convictions. We are proud to have achieved outstanding results for our clients in this complicated area of law. Please call us at 913-385-9900 to discuss any questions you may have about your situation.
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