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Criminal Law FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are questions that many clients and potential clients have asked throughout the years that are common to many criminal cases in Missouri. The following answers are meant merely to be a starting point for Missouri State laws only. Nothing here is meant to answer any questions about Federal or non-Missouri laws. I encourage you to contact me to schedule a free consultation to further discuss your criminal case.

This page will be updated from time to time as the laws are changed by legislative or judicial action. The following answers are based on the current legal picture as of November 2020.


What is an SIS?


Usually, when a client is offered a plea deal that involves probation, I hear the same question: What is an SIS? Simply put, an SIS boils down to probation without a conviction. SIS stands for Suspended Imposition of Sentence. By accepting the Prosecutor's plea deal, you must enter a plea of guilty on the record. This means you are waiving your right to a trial and admitting your guilt. In exchange, the Prosecutor will recommend to the Judge that rather than impose a sentence on you, the Judge should suspend the imposition and place you on probation for a period of months or years and usually subject to specific terms and conditions.

How long the term of your probation is will depend on the offense with which you have been charged. Important to note is that you will only be able to avoid a conviction on your record if you successfully complete your term of probation. Any violations could result in the Judge imposing a sentence and sending you to jail or ordering you to pay a fine, or a combination of the two. Alternatively, the Judge could extend the term of your probation, add conditions to your probation, or convert it into an SES.


What is an SES?


Just as common a question whenever probation is offered by the Prosecutor, is: What is an SES? It is probation with a conviction. It stands for Suspended Execution of Sentence. This means that the Judge has already imposed a sentence, perhaps it is a fine, a term of confinement in jail or prison, or a combination of a fine and imprisonment. The range of punishment available is dependent on the specifics of your case. The term of your probation is likewise dependent on your case and its specifics.

Unlike an SIS, with an SES you have already been sentenced so if you violate your probation, other than extending the term of your probation the judge can order an execution of the sentence. The Judge cannot convert your SES to a higher form of probation, as there is none. Remember, you have already been convicted so if you violate your probation, you'll likely have to go to jail.


Can I get my old DWI expunged?


Yes. Under Missouri's current expungement law, you may be eligible to have your old DWI conviction expunged. Missouri has two statutes that govern expungements of criminal cases: RSMo.: Sec. 610.130 and Sec. 610.140.

DWI expungements are governed by RSMo.: Sec. 610.130. So long as you meet the following criteria, then you are eligible to have your DWI expunged:

DWI Expungement Prerequisites

  1. At least 10 years must have passed since your conviction or plea of guilty to an alcohol-related driving offense;

  2. The conviction or plea of guilty must have been for a First alcohol-related traffic offense;

  3. The conviction or plea of guilty must have been for a Misdemeanor, or county or city ordinance;

  4. The alcohol-related traffic offense must not have involved a Commercial Motor Vehicle; and

  5. The Individual must not have any convictions, pleas of guilty, or any pending actions for any intoxicated-related traffic offenses since their first DWI.


Can I expunge my felony DWI record?


Currently under Missouri law, you cannot have a conviction or arrest for a felony DWI expunged.