When a criminal record is expunged, information in files, computers, and all records pertaining to the criminal charge are sealed from public view, and in some states, the records are actually destroyed. As a result, there is no record of the offense. Each state has its own laws concerning expungements.
Kentucky allows expungements for certain offenses; however, most felony convictions are not eligible for expungement under Kentucky law. Class D drug felonies are the only felony convictions that may be considered for expungement.
Expunction vs. Sealing
The terms “expungement” and “sealing” a criminal record are sometimes used interchangeably, but there are differences between the two. When a criminal record is sealed, it is removed from public view. When a criminal record is expunged, it means that it is completely erased, as if the crime never occurred. If anyone inquires about an expunged case, the court may correctly respond that no record exists. Once his criminal record has been expunged, the defendant is not required to disclose it to potential or future employers.
Records are not destroyed in Kentucky
An expungement in Kentucky means that your records will be sealed but will not be destroyed. Records are actually destroyed in some states. For specific purposes, entities such as the police, immigration authorities, and public officials can gain access to sealed/expunged records.
Felony Convictions do not qualify.
If you have a felony conviction in Kentucky, you will be unable to have your eligible misdemeanor convictions expunged. Expungements for felony convictions are prohibited in Kentucky.
Eligible & Ineligible Records
Misdemeanor criminal records can be expunged under Kentucky Revised Statute Section 431.078. Offenses against the Commonwealth of Kentucky, repeat offenders, offenses against children, and sex offenses may be ineligible for expungement.
In Kentucky, anyone accused of a sexual offense by his or her spouse is eligible for expungement if the charge was dismissed with prejudice or a not guilty charge was reached by a jury or the court. Anyone who has a criminal misdemeanor conviction or a series of violations arising from a single incident that occurred five years before the case in question is eligible for expungement if his probation and sentencing were successfully completed.
If the defendant has not been convicted of a violation or misdemeanor offense in the five years preceding the conviction that he is seeking to have expunged, he may be eligible for expungement. Convictions for a sex offense, especially one committed against a child, are not eligible for expungement.
Other requirements for eligibility include that the individual has not been convicted of a misdemeanor violation or a felony since seeking the expungement, and that no proceedings concerning a violation, misdemeanor, or felony are pending or being instituted against him when he applies for expungement. Furthermore, in order to be eligible for expungement, the offense in question must have been a state offense.
If finding work or housing is proving difficult due to a criminal record, seeking expungement of your record may be the solution if you are eligible. Online Kentucky expungement forms are available.