Clean Slate Clinics Provide Information About Expunging a Marijuana-Related Conviction!

In the first two months that Amendment 3 has been in effect in Missouri, more than 3,600 marijuana-related cases have been erased by circuit courts. Through their Clean Slate Clinics, the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association and Legal Services of Southern Missouri aim to inform the public about the availability of these automatic expungements.

Springfield Metropolitan Bar Executive Director Crista Hogan suggested that people with questions attend a Clean Slate Clinic because they handle a “wide spectrum of infractions,” including automatic marijuana expungements.

The first step of a clinic is a broad information presentation meant to help people figure out whether or not they qualify for a record expungement. The state of Missouri implemented its “expungement statute” in 2018, allowing eligible residents to seek the removal of certain nonviolent convictions from their criminal histories.

According to Legal Services of Southern Missouri, these range from drug charges and property crimes to low-level theft offences and various misdemeanours and felonies. Petitioning is not an option for federal offences.

On May 16th, from 6:00 to 7:30, there will be another Clean Slate Clinic. The clinic’s location is still up in the air. Visit the Springfield Metropolitan Bar website at or send an email to [email protected] to sign up.

Missouri Courts Expunge 3,631 Marijuana-Related Cases

According to Missouri Supreme Court communications counsel Beth Riggert, 3,631 marijuana-related cases have been purged across 37 counties as of January 20. To date, Greene County has not erased any marijuana-related charges.

After Amendment 3 was ratified as part of the Missouri Constitution on December 8, 2022, expungement proceedings could begin. Voters in November adopted an amendment that decriminalises marijuana for adults over the age of 21 and removes some minor marijuana convictions from criminal records.

Riggert clarified that the current number of expungements, 3,631, does not correspond to the number of individuals with erased cases. In contrast, it’s the total number of closed cases and new filings that matter. Case information is recorded by the Missouri Supreme Court system, but no personal information is kept.

Riggert stated that the system might not be able to tell if two people who filed the identical petition in separate counties were actually the same person because the clerks in those counties might have entered their information differently. However, “since the petition type has a unique code, it would know that a total of two petitions were filed.”

In accordance with Amendment 3, the state’s circuit courts must seal the records of all those convicted of misdemeanour marijuana offences who have successfully completed their sentences and are no longer in prison or under the supervision of the Department of Corrections by the end of July.

Sentencing courts have until March for all misdemeanour cases, until June for all class E felony cases or successor designations, and until September for all class D felony cases or successor designations before inmates can be released from prison for marijuana-related offences.

How Do Expungements Work?

A petition for expungement must be filed at the county court in which the underlying criminal charge or conviction was processed. In order to file a petition for expungement in the state of Missouri, an individual must typically pay a $250 filing fee. However, in situations involving marijuana, Amendment 3 removes the requirement to pay this charge.

When a judge orders an expungement, the record of the defendant’s criminal history is sealed.

According to Amendment 3, “the effect of such orders shall be to restore such individual to the status such person occupied prior to such arrest, plea, or conviction and as if the such occurrence had never occurred,” and the conviction and sentence shall be dismissed as legally invalid.


Mohit Sharma

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