Expungement in Kansas
Expungement in Kansas is intended to assist reformed individuals in contributing to society. Those with expunged records have new opportunities because expungement removes criminal records from civil access and general law enforcement access. After a record is removed, it cannot be used in certification, employment matters, licensing, registration, or revocation of certification or licensure, with the exception of employment with private or detective security firms, gambling-related entities, state social services agencies, commercial driving license applications, admission to the state Bar, and any other situations as designated by the court. Some juvenile records, however, may be kept as long as they do not contain any identifying information about the individual. Expunged records, according to Kansas Law 12-4516, may be used as priors in new convictions if necessary.
In Kansas, most records can be expunged if the individual qualifies. Most juvenile offender files and records are eligible for expungement, unless serious offenses specify otherwise. Convictions and related arrest records for municipal ordinance violations, as well as arrest records and subsequent court proceedings of those who were not tried, are also petitionable. Minor offense convictions and arrest records may be expunged after completion of probation or diversion programs.
Eligibility in Kansas
Expungement is a privilege in Kansas, not a right, so the court establishes specific guidelines for who may apply for expungement. The court also has the authority to deny a petition if it is not found in its favor. Cases involving juvenile offenders in which the individual has reached the age of twenty-three or where two years have passed since the final discharge with no felony or misdemeanor conviction are eligible for petitioning. Traffic offenses do not count against eligibility; however, there must be no other active criminal proceedings in order for expungement to be obtained. Certain serious, violent offenses can deprive a juvenile of this privilege.
An individual who has been arrested for a city ordinance violation and has not completed the imposed sentence or been discharged from parole, probation, or a suspended sentence may apply. Expungement is also possible for those who have not been charged with a felonious offense in the previous two years, are not currently being charged with a crime, have completed the terms of a diversion agreement as specified by city ordinance, and three or more years have passed since completion. Individuals must wait at least five years after completing their sentence or the terms of a diversion agreement, or after being discharged from probation, parole, or conditional release. This includes suspended sentences as well.
Individuals who have been arrested on criminal charges and were released due to a lack of probable cause, were found not guilty in court proceedings, or where expungement is in the best interests of justice may also be eligible to file a petition. Charges must have been dismissed in these cases, and no charges are expected to be filed in the future.