A Missouri State Senate Committee heard expungement bills on Tuesday, March 17th, sponsored by Senator Bob Dixon, a Republican from Springfield. One bill, put together by the Missouri Bar, has the most promise and is the most comprehensive, according to Dan Viets, a private practice attorney in Columbia, Missouri, and a member of the board of directors for Norml.
The bill would allow for all marijuana crimes to be removed from public records – class A convictions are the only exception. Unlike expungement laws in other states, Missouri expungement law allows for defendants to make the claim that they have never been convicted of a crime once the expungement process has been completed. Misdemeanor expungements in Missouri can take place 3 years after the successful completion of probation and other terms of sentencing, while felonies are eligible 5 years after the completion of sentencing.
The bill is widely supported among legal communities in Missouri, including the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Missouri Bar Board of Governors, and even the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.