People are always stunned at how much a DWI conviction costs. I had been intending to write an article explaining the damage in terms of money. Then I came upon this thoughtful post by St Louis area attorney Diana Hilliard. Naturally, these costs will vary with different locations and situations, but still, this is very instructive.
It will take your breath away.
It’s called an expungement, and in Missouri, any qualified person can get one (but only one).
If you have a single DWI or other misdemeanor alcohol related driving offense that is ten years old, the law provides a way for most people to make that mistake disappear forever. The effect of an expungement order is to restore you to your status prior to your DWI arrest, plea or conviction–as if such event had never taken place.
Expungement requires filing a petition with the court in which you originally pled guilty or were convicted. After a criminal background check, you must prove–-in a hearing–that you have not been convicted of any alcohol-related driving offense in the prior ten years and have have no alcohol-related enforcement contacts (like a license revocation) during the preceding ten years, nor have any alcohol-related driving charges or alcohol-related enforcement actions pending. The court will then order expungement of all official records of your arrest, plea, trial, conviction and related administrative actions.
In addition to the expungement of the records, you cannot later be found guilty of perjury or otherwise giving a false statement for failure to admit to the expunged arrest, plea, trial or conviction (no matter who asks or why).