A felony or misdemeanor conviction on your legal record can prevent you from passing a job application, background check, or applying for credit. One poor decision can cause a lifetime of complications but depending on the conviction, it may be eligible to be erased from your record through an expungement. An expungement is a court-ordered process to seal or erase a felony or misdemeanor conviction from your legal record. Expungement laws vary in each state. In Kentucky, the law states that an expunged conviction is as if it never happened.
What can be expunged?
- Certain Class D felony convictions (starting July 15, 2016)
- Crimes in which you were found not guilty
When can I apply for an expungement?
For both Class D felonies and misdemeanors, you can fill out an application five years after the completion of your sentence or five years after completion of your probation or parole, whichever occurs later. If you were found not guilty of a misdemeanor, you can file a petition 60 days after the dismissal of your case.
You will not be eligible for an expungement if you are convicted of another crime or in the process of having another crime expunged at the time you file for an expungement.
What are the benefits of an expungement?
An expunged conviction completely erases the arrest or criminal conviction on your legal record. It will not appear on a background check, and you can legally state that the conviction never happened. If a court clerk pulls up your legal record, it will state that you had an expungement, but will not show the details of the arrest or criminal conviction.
“If you are asked on a job application about your expunged arrest or criminal conviction, you can legally answer ‘no’ because an expunged account is completely wiped from your record,” says Emily Roark, Bryant Law Center attorney.
What is the process for an expungement?
- Request a report (also called an expungement certificate) from the Kentucky State Police with a $40 filing fee. You must have the report to proceed with the process. The report can be processed within a few days or up to a month depending on the police department. The report or certificate will not automatically grant you an expungement. Only a judge can grant an expungement.
- When the report is returned, your attorney files a motion or order with the Kentucky State Police report asking the judge to grant the expungement. The report for a felony conviction cost a $500 filing fee with no guarantee your criminal offense will be expunged. A misdemeanor conviction filing fee cost $100 or no filing fee if you did not plead guilty to the misdemeanor. If the judge denies your expungement, a portion of the filing fee will be returned. The report must be included for the judge to consider your expungement. If a report is not included, the judge will deny the expungement. In some cases, if your report from the Kentucky State Police denies your eligibility for expungement, your attorney can argue in your favor and reverse the report.
- Once the motion is filed, the prosecutor has 60 days to file against your expungement. If he or she fails to file against your expungement, the judge will decide to grant or deny your motion. If the prosecutor files within the 60 days against your expungement, the judge will schedule a hearing to hear from both the prosecutor and your attorney and make a ruling.
Expungement Laws in Kentucky:
For more information about expungements in Kentucky, visit the Kentucky Court of Justice
Do you have a conviction eligible for expungement? For a free evaluation of your case and further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.