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Kentucky » Kentucky Expungement

When you expunge your record in Kentucky, all traces of your criminal record will be erased, and you can honestly say you’ve never been convicted of a crime. The expungement process including filing necessary paperwork, getting a court date, and presenting your case in front of a judge. If the judge approves of your expungement, the case is sealed, and your records should be removed and erased within 4-6 weeks.

Kentucky Expungement Benefits

  • Tell employers that you have not been convicted of a crime
  • Become eligible for student loans
  • Become eligible for housing assistance
  • Become eligible for more types of professional licenses and certificates
  • Tell friends and family that you have not been convicted of a crime
  • To stop fearing or being embarrassed when someone does a background check on you.

Kentucky Expungement Law

510.300 Expungement of record.

(1) The arrest record of anyone accused by his spouse of an offense under this chapter shall be expunged if said charge was either dismissed with prejudice or a verdict of not guilty on said charge was entered.

(2) If the charges brought against a defendant under this chapter are dismissed with prejudice or the defendant is found not guilty, the court shall order all law enforcement and other public agencies holding records of the offense to expunge the records.

(3) No person whose records have been expunged pursuant to this section shall have to answer “Yes” and may answer “No” to the question “Have you ever been arrested?” or any similar question with regard to the offense for which the records were expunged.

431.078 Expungement of misdemeanor and violation conviction records.

(1) Any person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor or a violation, or a series of misdemeanors or violations arising from a single incident, may petition the court in which he was convicted for expungement of his misdemeanor or violation record. The person shall be informed of the right at the time of adjudication.

(2) The petition shall be filed no sooner than five (5) years after the completion of the person’s sentence or five (5) years after the successful completion of the person’s probation, whichever occurs later.

(3) Upon the filing of a petition, the court shall set a date for a hearing and shall notify the county attorney; the victim of the crime, if there was an identified victim; and any other person whom the person filing the petition has reason to believe may have relevant information related to the expungement of the record. Inability to locate the victim shall not delay the proceedings in the case or preclude the holding of a hearing or the issuance of an order of expungement.

(4) The court shall order sealed all records in the custody of the court and any records in the custody of any other agency or official, including law enforcement records, if at the hearing the court finds that:
(a) The offense was not a sex offense or an offense committed against a child;
(b) The person had no previous felony conviction;
(c) The person had not been convicted of any other misdemeanor or violation offense in the five (5) years prior to the conviction sought to be expunged;
(d) The person had not since the time of the conviction sought to be expunged been convicted of a felony, a misdemeanor, or a violation;
(e) No proceeding concerning a felony, misdemeanor, or violation is pending or being instituted against him; and
(f) The offense was an offense against the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

(5) Upon the entry of an order to seal the records, and payment to the circuit clerk of one hundred dollars ($100), the proceedings in the case shall be deemed never to have occurred; all index references shall be deleted; the persons and the court may properly reply that no record exists with respect to the persons upon any inquiry in the matter; and the person whose record is expunged shall not have to disclose the fact of the record or any matter relating thereto on an application for employment, credit, or other type of application. The first fifty dollars ($50) of each fee collected pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into the general fund, and the remainder shall be deposited into a trust and agency account for deputy clerks.

(6) Copies of the order shall be sent to each agency or official named therein.

(7) Inspection of the records included in the order may thereafter be permitted by the court only upon petition by the person who is the subject of the records and only to those persons named in the petition.

(8) This section shall be deemed to be retroactive, and any person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor prior to July 14, 1992, may petition the court in which he was convicted, or if he was convicted prior to the inception
of the District Court to the District Court in the county where he now resides, for expungement of the record of one (1) misdemeanor offense or violation or a series of misdemeanor offenses or violations arising from a single incident, provided that the offense was not one specified in subsection (4) and that the offense was not the precursor offense of a felony offense for which he was subsequently convicted. This section shall apply only to offenses against the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Kentucky Expungement Requirements

To be eligible for expungement, you must meet the requirements below:

  • 5 years have passed since completion of the sentence or probation/parole (whichever is latest)
  • No prior felony convictions
  • Must not have applied for expungement since the time of convictions
  • No misdemeanor or felony convictions since the conviction sought to be expunged
  • No pending misdemeanor, felony or violation cases pending

Kentucky Expungement Senate Bill 159 and House Bill 246

The failure of Senate Bill 159 and House Bill 246 (focusing on the expungement of felonies) in the March 2011 cabinet meeting left many including members of the legislature and individuals with criminal records unsettled because Kentucky’s legal structure continued to exist without a specific statute addressing the expungement of felonies. Though there is no law regarding the expungement of felonies, the law does allow for certain offenses such as misdemeanors to be expunged from the offender’s criminal record. There are two types of persons who are eligible to file for an expungement: 1) a person who has been charged with a criminal offense, but charges against the offender have been dismissed (with prejudice), or the offender was found not guilty; 2) persons who have been convicted of misdemeanors, or a series of misdemeanors which are related to a single occurrence; 3) persons who have not been convicted previously of a felony; 4) the offense was a state offense; 4) persons who have not been convicted of any other misdemeanor or violation offense in the five years prior to the conviction sought to be expunged; 5) the offense was not a sex offense or any other offense committed against a child; 6) persons who have not since the time of the conviction sought to be expunged been convicted of a felony, misdemeanor, or a violation; 7) no proceeding concerning felony, misdemeanor, or violation is pending or being instituted against him. §431.078 (4).

Once eligible persons file for expungement of their records and their petitions are granted, any record related to the single incident are sealed. Though the records are not completely destroyed, they are not accessible by law enforcement or for civil use. Note that under §431.078 (2), eligible persons may file the petition for expungement either five years after the completion of sentence or five years after the successful completion of probation, whichever occurs later. The process allows for the court to order all records pertaining to the case (whether in custody of the court or other agencies) to have never occurred. If the court grants such an order, the petitioner may in fact legally state on an employment or credit application that they have not been arrested for, and/or convicted of a misdemeanor. In fact, if the court receives a request for criminal records, it will reply that no records exist for the inquired upon person.

Note that §610.330 pertains to the expungement of juvenile court records which differ slightly from the expungement process of adults. A juvenile offender who has been convicted of status offenses, misdemeanors or violations only may petition the court for the expungement of these records. However, the juvenile offender is not eligible for expungement for adjudications involving guilt of an offense which would have been a felony if the offense was commited by an adult. §610.330 (1). Unlike the five year time span set for adult offenders, juveniles may file the petition for expungement two years after the date of termination of the court’s jurisdiction over the juvenile, or two years after the person’s unconditional from any public or private agency including the Department of Juvenile Justice or the Cabinet of Health and Family Services. However, the two year time requirement may be waived by the court if extraordinary circumstances are found by the court.

The court will grant the juvenile offender’s petition if: 1) the record in question has not been convicted of a felony, or adjudicated for a motor vehicle offense (where in that case, the juvenile will be treated as an adult and will face the same condition of release applied to him or her as an adult §610.010[1]); 2) no proceeding concerning a felony and no petition for a motor vehicle offense. Once sealed by the court, the same rules apply that are applied to adult offenders.

Whats on your record?

The first step to removing your criminal record is to find out what, if anything, is showing up on your criminal background. If you are unsure of what exactly is holding you back from jobs or any of lives other opportunities we highly recommend visiting our partner, BackgroundChecks.com, where you can get a full national criminal history background check for a super low price.


Featured Expungement Attorney Law Firm of Higbee and Associates