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Does Missouri offer expungements for drunk-driving offenses?

If you've been arrested and charged with a drunk-driving offense, you've probably had the thought that many of our Columbia readers have had. You've probably thought that your life was over. Not literally of course, but you -- like so many before you -- understand the serious impact a drunk-driving offense can have on your life, particularly what it can mean for your driving privileges and possibly even your freedom.

For a lot of people across Missouri, a first-time DWI is oftentimes regarded as a huge mistake they will never make again in their lifetime. But even though most people simply want to forget that their DWI conviction even happened, law enforcement is less inclined to. As we have explained before on our blog, DWI convictions can significantly impact your life, which is why you might be asking the same questions as our post title: does Missouri offer expungements for drunk-driving offenses?

The answer is yes if you're a first-time offender and your conviction was not received while driving a commercial vehicle. Under Chapter 577, Section 577.054.1 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, an individual can apply to the court to have a drunk-driving offense expunged from their record if it has been at least 10 years since their conviction and they have not been convicted of any new drunk-driving offenses or had any alcohol-related enforcement contacts.

If the court feels you meet all of these qualifications, a judge may order that your record be expunged, which will return your criminal record to the good standing you enjoyed prior to your conviction.

Because you will be required to present your case to the court, you may want to obtain legal counsel first. If you're like most Missourians, you may not know all of the intricacies of the law, which could mean the difference between having the court issue an order of expungement and having a DWI conviction haunt you for the rest of your life. With a drunk-driving attorney at your side, you can rest assured that you are presenting your case effectively and have the best chance of having your record expunged.

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