September 15, 2023 | Criminal Defense
Expungement is a legal process that allows you to have certain convictions or arrests removed from your criminal record. Once expunged, the information is sealed and, in most circumstances, cannot be accessed by regular background checks and will not be disclosed to potential employers. In essence, an expungement acts as though the conviction or arrest never occurred.
Offenses That Can Be Expunged in Kentucky
In Kentucky, there are specific charges that can be expunged and certain timing that applies:
Acquittal or Dismissed With Prejudice
Under Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) 431.076, as of July 15, 2020, any case that was dismissed with prejudice or acquitted will be automatically expunged after a period of just 30 days. This applies to all cases except traffic offenses.
Felony Charges – No Indictment
Under this provision, you may submit a petition for expungement six months after the date on which the District Court decided to present your case to the grand jury.
Non-Violent Misdemeanors and Most Class D Felonies
Most Class D felony and non-violent misdemeanor convictions may also become eligible for expungement under Kentucky law. If an application is submitted and successfully meets the necessary required terms, courts may expunge the charges.
You must wait a period of five years to file an application for expungement, with the countdown beginning from either the completion of your sentence or the successful conclusion of probation/parole—whichever event occurs later.
Some Offenses Are Ineligible For Expungement
Not all charges are eligible for expungement. Specifically, any crime categorized as a sex offense or a crime involving a child cannot be expunged. This holds true even if these offenses were classified as misdemeanors.
Other offenses that cannot be expunged include federal charges, serious felonies, charges from out of state, charges where legal proceedings are ongoing, and charges for which you’re still on probation.
What Are the Benefits of Expungement?
The benefits associated with the process of expungement are extensive and can be transformative. Some of the most significant ones include:
Enhanced Job Opportunities
With a criminal record, many doors in the job market remain closed. Employers, especially those in sectors like finance, healthcare, and education, often prioritize candidates with clean backgrounds.
Improved Housing Opportunities
An expungement can greatly enhance the housing opportunities available to you. With a clear criminal record, you’ll be better positioned when undergoing background checks run by landlords or property management companies. This will help in reducing potential rejections based on your criminal history, making it easier for you to secure an apartment or house of your choice.
Greater Access to Education
Higher education and vocational training programs often perform background checks. A criminal record can hinder acceptance into desired courses or institutions. With expungement, individuals can freely chase academic aspirations, ensuring a brighter future.
Whether it’s applying for a mortgage, personal loan, or even a credit card, a clean record can make the process smoother. Financial institutions might perceive those with criminal records as potential risks.
An expunged record places an individual on a more stable footing in the financial world, potentially leading to better interest rates and loan terms.
Ease in Obtaining Professional Licenses
Fields like law, medicine, and real estate often mandate background checks for licensing. An expunged record clears the path for individuals aiming for careers in these and other regulated professions.
Mental and Emotional Well-Being
Beyond the tangible, the weight of a criminal record can bear heavily on one’s heart. The shame, stigma, and constant reminders of past mistakes can be debilitating. Expungement offers a fresh start and the chance to rebuild one’s life with optimism and confidence.
Contact an Experienced Lexington Criminal Lawyer For Help With Expungement
Expungements offer a second chance for individuals burdened with a criminal record to lead more fulfilling lives. If you need help, contact us to schedule a free consultation with a Lexington expungement lawyer.
Contact the Lexington Criminal Case at Suhre & Associates, LLC For Help Today
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Lexington
333 West Vine Street #212
Lexington, KY 40507