If you live in Missouri and currently have a drug-related criminal conviction on your record, you may find that it interferes with your life in numerous ways. Maybe it is making it harder for you to find gainful employment, or maybe it is limiting your chances of finding affordable housing. Regardless of how your criminal record is affecting your life, a new law that took effect this year may help you navigate the hurdles you face. At Kelly, Symonds & Reed, LLC, we understand how the law change can help state residents with nonviolent criminal records, and we have helped many clients facing hardship due to their records find solutions that fit their needs.

According to Fox 2 Now St. Louis, the law, which took effect in January, shortens the amount of time Missouri’s drug and other nonviolent offenders must wait before they can request an expungement. An expungement is essentially a way to cleanse your criminal record so that the details of your crime and conviction are no longer available to the public. The new law also increases the number of criminal convictions that are eligible for expungement.

Until January, the state’s criminal offenders had to wait 20 years after receiving a criminal conviction before they could pursue an expungement. Furthermore, until this past January, there were only 13 offenses eligible for expungement. Under the state’s new law, more than 1,900 new convictions are now eligible for expungement, and the length of time you must wait to pursue one has shortened considerably.

Rather than waiting 20 years to try to get your conviction off your record, you know can request an expungement three years after a misdemeanor conviction and seven years after a felony conviction, provided your crime was nonviolent in nature. Find more about criminal defense on our web page.