Missouri changed the expungement laws on January 1, 2018, when Missouri statute §610.140 became effective. The statute was later amended in August 2019. This statute allowed for the expungement (removal) of a large number of offenses from the criminal record of a person (felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions) that were previously ineligible for expungement. However, those who are looking to have an old conviction in Missouri expunged should consult with an attorney at the earliest opportunity. The statute is complicated, and an evaluation process is necessary to determine whether a person is eligible.
The state of Kansas has a very detailed and comprehensive statutory scheme for the expungement of various types of criminal issues (arrests, diversions, convictions). This is a great benefit to people with criminal records in Kansas. At some point, people appreciate being able to move on and put things behind them.
Applications for executive clemency (which include pardons and sentence commutations) are very different from expungement petitions filed in courts and heard by judges. With executive clemency applications, a petitioner is requesting a executive (ultimately, a governor at the state level, or the the President acting through U.S. Department of Justice at the federal level) to take some sort of executive action on a previously adjudicated criminal case. The scenarios can be very complicated.
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 the waters of this area of the law.
Kansas has a specific statutory scheme whereby a person can apply to have various types of 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.