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Criminal Law FAQ

Missouri allows for the expungement of court convictions and arrest records. Different statutes allow for types of expungements.
For a first offense DWI or Boating While Intoxicated, Sections 577.054 and 610.130 control the requirements and process for expungement for these crimes.
Section 610.140 allows for the expungement of the records of arrest, plea, trial or conviction for certain misdemeanors and felonies. A person is eligible to expunge only two misdemeanors or ordinance violations and one felony during their lifetime. However, if multiple counts are contained within the same indictment or information or are committed as part of the same course of conduct, all offenses may be included in the petition regardless of the lifetime limitations. Felony expungments require a seven-year waiting period before application for expungment. Misdemeanor cases require a three-year waiting period before application.
As for the expungement of an arrest in which there was no finding of guilty by plea or trial, Section 610.122 sets out the requirements to be followed. You must be able to show that the arrest was based on false information and :
1). There was no probable casue to believe that you committed the crime for which you were arrested;
2) No charges were filed against you;
3) You did not receive a suspended imposition of sentence (SIS) for the offense for which the arrest was made, or for any offense related to the arrest,
4) You have never been convicted of any felony or misdemeanor; and
5) There is no civil lawsuit pending related to the arrest you seek to expunge.
A blood test drawn to test for alcohol can also be used to detect the presence of drugs in a person's system. However, these blood tests only show that drugs are present in a person's blood above the minimum cut-off for detection; the tests do not show the level of any drugs in the blood.Missouri law follows a progressive penalty structure for DWI's. A first offense DWI is a Class B Misdemeanor with a range of penalty of up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000.
A second DWI within five years is classified as a "Prior Offender and is a Class A Misdemeanor with a range of penalty of up to one year in jail and/or a fine up to $2,000. A prior offender cannot be granted probation until he/she has served a minimum of 10 days' imprisonment, unless a person either: 1)completes 30 days of community service, or 2) participates in, and successfully completes, a court-ordered treatment program. If the second DWI occurs more than five years after the first, then it is classified as a Class B Misdemeanor.
A third DWI is classified as a "Persistent Offender" and is a Class E Felony with a range of punishment of up to 4 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. A persistent offender cannot be granted probation until he/she has served 30 days' imprisonment, unless a person either: 1) completes at least 60 days of community service, or 2) completes a court-sponsored DWI Court Program and completes 60 days of community service as part of that program.
A fourth DWI is classified as an "Aggravated Offender" and is a Class D Felony with a range of punishment of up to 7 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. An aggravated offender cannot be granted probation until he or she has served a minimum of 60 days imprisonment.
A fifth DWI is classified as a "Chronic Offender" and is a Class C Felony with a range of punishment of 3 to 10 years in prison. A chronic offender cannot be granted parole or probation until he/she has served a minimum two-year imprisonment.
A sixth DWI is classified as a "Habitual Offender and is a Class B Felony with a range of punishment of 5 to 15 years in prison. A habitual offender cannot be granted parole or probation until he/she has served a minimum two-year imprisonment.
You are granted two specific rights by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights that you should always remember to invoke. Those are the right to remain silent under the 5th Amendment and the right to an attorney under the 6th Amendment.
I never recommend that a client speak to any law enforcement officer after an arrest as any statement made can be used against them in the prosecution of a case. You have the right to have an attorney during any questioning, and only with an attorney present should you consider answering questions. It is important to have a legal representative present during questioning to protect you to avoid incriminating yourself.
Absolutely. A common phrase used is that "a person who represents themselves has an idiot for a client." That is a harsh statement, to be sure, but it is not entirely inaccurate. The rules of Criminal Procedure and Evidence are complex. Drafting motions and researching caselaw is time-consuming and difficult for a non-lawyer. Only an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney can properly guide you through a case.
There are other considerations why an experienced attorney is necessary in defending against a criminal case. I have spent my entire career as a Criminal Defense Attorney in St. Louis and St. Charles and have developed relationships with Judges and Prosecutors throughout the area. My abilities in defending my clients have given me a reputation as one of the premier attorneys in Missouri.
I have been honored with an AV Preeminent rating by peer reviews from fellow attorneys and Judges.

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