One simple mistake that constitutes a criminal act can have a permanent impact on your life. Whether you plead guilty or get convicted of an offense, the Kentucky courts will generate a criminal record associated with your offense. Every time a prospective educator, landlord or employer holds a background check, they will see your criminal record, potentially impacting the decision that they make about you.
Criminal records help protect the public by ensuring that people know if they are living near or working with someone with a dangerous background. Unfortunately, criminal records can also negatively impact those who oppose very little or no threat to society. If you have a Class D felony or misdemeanor crime on your criminal record, you may be eligible for a Kentucky expungement, which could drastically improve the options available to you in life.
What is an expungement?
At its most basic, and expungement involves removing a damaging mark from your criminal record. Some people may also refer to this process as sealing the record or voiding the charges, but these are actually different legal proceedings.
In an expungement in Kentucky, if the person requesting the expungement is successful, all state government agencies must remove their records of the criminal offense. In other words, if you qualify for an expungement, you can remove that blemish from your criminal record and finally move on with your life.
Who can qualify for an expungement?
As previously mentioned, those with certain Class D felony charges, which include certain theft crimes or drug offenses, as well as many misdemeanor offenses, can potentially expunge their record. In some cases, it may be possible to void a pending criminal charge, particularly those associated with the possession of certain drugs.
Typically, to qualify for an expungement, an individual needs to have avoided other criminal activity following their conviction or guilty plea. They will also need to complete the expungement certification process which determines whether someone qualifies for an expungement. The Kentucky State Police manage this process and assists by verifying criminal records and then either certifying or denying the eligibility of the person requesting the expungement.Kentucky has a generous expungement program
In many other states, those with any sort of felony charge cannot qualify for expungement. The expungement only addresses the court’s criminal records, while state or local police agencies can still maintain and report expunged criminal offenses. In Kentucky, if the courts approve your expungement, all state-maintained records of your offense and its consequences become private.
There are still certain exceptions to an expungement. Certain, well-known background check and private investigation agencies maintain their own databases of public criminal records. These companies will not update or delete their records to reflect your expungement. However, for the vast majority of background checks, a person who has successfully secured an expungement can pass.