Expungement Guide

Kentucky Expungement

When a criminal record is expunged, it means that 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. Consequently, there is no record of the offense. Each state has its own statutes regarding expungements.

Kentucky allows expungements for certain offenses; however, under Kentucky statutes, expungement is not allowed for most felony convictions. The only felony convictions that may be considered for expungement are Class D drug felonies.

Expungement Versus Sealing
Sometimes the terms "expungement" and "sealing" a criminal record are used interchangeably but there are differences in the two. When a criminal record is sealed, it is hidden from the general public. When a criminal record is expunged, it means that the record is completely destroyed as if the crime never happened. If anyone inquires about a case that has been expunged the court may correctly reply that no record exists. The defendant does not have to disclose his criminal record to potential or future employers once it is expunged.

Kentucky Doesn't Destroy Records
In Kentucky, an expungement means that your records will be sealed but the records will not be destroyed. In some states the records are actually destroyed. Entities, such as the police, immigration authorities and public officials can access sealed/expunged records for certain purposes.

Felons Convictions Are Not Eligible
If you have a felony conviction in Kentucky this will disallow you from getting your eligible misdemeanor convictions expunged. Kentucky bars expungements for those who have a felony conviction.

Those Records That May Be Eligible and Those That Are Ineligible
Kentucky Revised Statute Section 431.078 allows for the expungement of misdemeanor criminal records. Those crimes that may be ineligible for expungement include offenses against the Commonwealth of Kentucky, repeat offenders, offenses against children and sex offenses. In Kentucky, those eligible for expungement include anyone who is accused by his or her spouse of a sexual offense if the charge was dismissed with prejudice or a not guilty charge was arrived at by a jury or the court. Anyone who has criminal misdemeanor convictions or violations 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 has been completed successfully.If the individual has not been convicted of a violation or misdemeanor offense in the five years preceding the conviction that the defendant is attempting to get expunged he may be eligible for expungement. However, convictions that involve a sex offense and particularly one committed against a child are not eligible for expungement.

Other Requirements
Other qualifications for eligibility include that the person has not been convicted of a misdemeanor violation or a felony since he sought the expungement nor can there be any proceedings concerning a violation, misdemeanor or felony pending against the individual or being instituted against him when he applies for expungement. Furthermore, the offense in question regarding expungement must have been a state offense in order to be eligible.

If finding work or housing is proving next to impossible because you have a criminal record, seeking expungement of your record might be the answer if you are eligible for expungement. Kentucky expungement forms are available online.

See also:
Kentucky Felony External link (opens in new window)
Kentucky Gun Laws External link (opens in new window)
Kentucky Divorce External link (opens in new window)