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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