Having a criminal conviction on your record can have devastating and lasting consequences. It can make it more difficult to find a job, rent a house and more. An expungement of your criminal record can remove the conviction, giving you the opportunity to start fresh – if your criminal conviction is one that qualifies for expungement.
Who qualifies for expungement
Kentucky law provides a specific list of crimes that can qualify for expungement, but the rules and procedure for obtaining one changes based on the type of crime committed.
If your conviction is for a misdemeanor, violation or traffic infraction, you can qualify for expungement – unless the crime was a sex offense or committed against a child. You also cannot expunge a misdemeanor if you have been convicted of another crime within the last five years.
If your conviction was for a felony, you might be able to qualify for expungement – if your conviction fits within the category of “Class D” felonies. This is the lowest level of felony, made up of offenses that result in a prison sentence of one to five years – such as certain types of drug possession.
The process for obtaining an expungement
Before you can apply for expungement, you will have to go through the expungement certification process to obtain a certificate of eligibility. This is a document that demonstrates that you qualify for expungement. You will need an expungement certification in most, but not all cases.
Once you have it filled out, you will prepare a petition for expungement, and submit them to the court together. Your attorney can assist you with the preparation of both of these documents, as well as all hearings and other parts of the process.
If the judge approves your expungement, then the criminal convictions will disappear from your record. Employers, landlords and others who run a criminal background check on you will not be able to see the charges, and you can have a fresh start with a clean record.