In 2016, it became legal to expunge some felony convictions in Kentucky. You may now expunge arrest records, misdemeanors, and felony convictions under certain circumstances. An expungement removes a criminal offense from your record for most purposes—making it easier to get a job, housing or an education.
Expungement of Juvenile Criminal Records
In Kentucky, you may expunge most juvenile misdemeanor convictions (as long the offense would not be a felony if committed by an adult). Juvenile felony convictions cannot be expunged. You may file a Petition for Juvenile Expungement if:
- Two years have passed since the court ended its jurisdiction, or you were unconditionally released, and
- You do not have subsequent convictions, adjudications, or pending charges.
The two-year waiting period may be waived under extraordinary circumstances. If you need help determining your eligibility, consider contacting an expungement lawyer.
Expungement of Adult Criminal Records
You may expunge a wide variety of criminal records in Kentucky, including some adult felonies, misdemeanors, and arrest records. The expungement process varies, depending on the type of record. However, all adult expungements require an expungement certification—a form issued by the Kentucky State Police and Administrative Office of Courts.
As of 7/15/2016, some Class D felonies may be expunged from your Kentucky criminal record. These felonies include non-violent drug offenses, fraud, and theft. However, you must wait five years after completing probation or parole (which ever is later). Additionally, you cannot have any subsequent or pending criminal charges or convictions.
Once the five-year period has expired, you may begin the expungement process. This involves:
- Requesting an expungement certification,
- Completing and filing an Application to Vacate and Expunge Felony Conviction, and
- A hearing, if necessary.
If you need help with a felony expungement, consider contacting a criminal defense lawyer.
Misdemeanor Conviction Expungements
Most misdemeanor convictions in Kentucky are expungeable, except for child abuse and sexual offenses. To be eligible for a misdemeanor expungement, you cannot have any convictions in the past five years. The process involves:
- Getting an expungement certification,
- Completing and filing a written Petition for Expungement,
- Paying the associated fees and costs, and
- Attending a hearing (if necessary).
Again, a criminal defense or expungement lawyer may be able to help with the expungement process.
Expunging Criminal Charges That Did Not Lead to a Conviction
If you were charged with a felony, but not indicted, you may expunge this record 12 months after the court decided to present the issue to a grand jury. In order to expunge felony charges that did not result in an indictment, you must file Petition for Expungement and obtain an expungement certification. A hearing may be necessary.
You may also expunge arrest and other records if:
- The charges were dismissed with prejudice, or
- You were acquitted.
A 60-day waiting period applies in these cases. Again, you must file a Petition for Expungement, your expungement certification, and may have to attend a hearing.
Associated Fees and Paperwork
Filing fees and costs vary, depending on the severity of your criminal record. You must pay a $500 filing fee for a felony conviction expungement and $100 for a misdemeanor conviction. Other costs include the expense of your expungement certification. If you hire an expungement or criminal defense lawyer, you may also be charged for attorney fees and other costs.
Implications of a Successful Expungement
If the court grants your petition, you may lawfully state that the expunged criminal record does not exist. When most employers search your Kentucky criminal record, the charges will not be present. Expunged records will still be available to law enforcement agencies.
Consulting a Lawyer
In order to expunge a criminal record, you must submit specific paperwork and may have to attend a hearing. A criminal lawyer or expungement lawyer can help guide you through the expungement process and insure that you have the correct information in your request. Additionally, a lawyer can speak on your behalf during any necessary court hearings and give you the best chance of expunging your record.