Can My Criminal Record Be Expunged?
A criminal record carries bad consequences, including difficulty in finding employment. It is standard for prospective employers to ask about an applicant’s criminal past. Jobs commonly available to those with a criminal conviction are usually less than desirable.
Criminal records also make it more difficult to rent a home or apartment. It only makes sense to investigate to possibility of record expungement.
Criminal records are not expunged automatically. A motion must be filed in court. While juvenile records are routinely sealed, they are not automatically expunged.
Can your record be expunged? The short answer is: It depends.
If you have a single conviction for a misdemeanor and have completed your sentence and probation, it is likely that your criminal record can be expunged.
1. Can all crimes be expunged in Kentucky? Most felonies convictions are not eligible for expungement. First offense drug possession felony can be expunged. But arrest records and misdemeanor convictions are eligible for expungement. In many cases, if you have multiple convictions, you are not eligible. This is true even if the convictions are misdemeanors.
• The type of crime is important. Violent crimes are not eligible for expungement.
2. What is required? The sentence must be fully served and any probation must be fully served.
3. What is the process? A standard form must be filed with the court system. The judge who handled your case will handle your request for expungement. A record check will be conducted to make sure you have not been charged with a new crime.
4. If you are a juvenile or have been convicted of a drug offense, it is easier to have your criminal record expunged.
Ideally, your expungement defense attorney can accomplished a “Certificate of Actual Innocence.” This effectively proves that your criminal record was a mistake and never should have existed. A general expungement seals the record. But that record still exists in the prosecutor’s files.
There is a difference between ‘not guilty’ and ‘innocent.’ ‘Not guilty’ simply means there was sufficient doubt of guilt. Innocent implies confidence that the crime was not committed.
While the expungement process can be attempted alone, it is wise to hire an attorney. Local laws and legal procedures can be challenging to navigate without legal experience. Eliminating your criminal record can make it easier to find work, rent an apartment, and even obtain bank credit. Take the time to expunge your criminal record.
Kentucky law allows certain offenses after a certain amount of time to be expunged. An expungement destroys and eliminates both the hardcopy and electronic history of the conviction(s) or charge(s). A proper expungement eliminates the arrest history of the conviction and the police and jail record. Any charge which was dismissed or for which you were found not guilty can be expunged. A charge that resulted in a dismissal or acquittal (not guilty) will stay on your record forever unless you file a motion with the trial court to expunge the case.
There is a remedy in Kentucky that allows you to wipe out all the records pertaining to your arrest and the court records of the criminal case. Once you get an expungement a criminal background check will not discover your old case.
However, sex offender, most felony convictions and offense against children cannot be expunged. If you were arrested for a felony but convicted of a misdemeanor and stayed clean for 5 years most judge will grant the expungement. An expungement means the arrest never happened. An expungement means the criminal prosecution did not occur. An expungement will allow you to check ‘no arrest history’ on a job application.
Call my office and I will look at your criminal records and tell you if you are able to clean your record and get a fresh start.