Expungement of Criminal Records – General – Kentucky
1. What is an expungement?
The process of legally destroying, obliterating or striking out records or information in files, computers and other depositories relating to criminal charges.
2. Do the records just “disappear”?
No. The records cannot be accessed for general law enforcement or civil use. The court will order sealed all records in the custody of the court and any records in the custody of any other agency. The case shall be deemed never to have occurred; all index references shall be deleted; the persons and the court may properly reply that no record exists with respect to the persons upon any inquiry in the matter. The person whose record is expunged shall not have to disclose the fact of the record or any matter relating thereto on an application for employment, credit, or other type of application. § 431.078.
3. What records may be expunged?
All records related to the expunged offense in the custody of the court and any records in the custody of any other agency or official, including law enforcement records. § 431.078.
4. Who is eligible for an expungement?
1. Anyone accused by his spouse of a sexual offense if the charge was either dismissed with prejudice or a verdict of not guilty on the charge was entered. § 510.300
2. Any person who has been convicted of a criminal misdemeanor or a violation, or a series of misdemeanors or violations arising from a single incident and five years have passed since probation or sentence successfully completed. Convictions must not be not a sex offense or an offense committed against a child. To be eligible for expungement, it must be shown that he person
a) had no previous felony conviction,
b) the person had not been convicted of any other misdemeanor or violation offense in the five years prior to the conviction sought to be expunged,
c) the person had not since the time of the conviction sought to be expunged been convicted of a felony, a misdemeanor, or a violation, and
d) no proceeding concerning a felony, misdemeanor, or violation is pending or being instituted against him.
e) the offense was not a sex offense or an offense committed against a child;
f) the offense was a state offense. 431.078.
3. A person seeking expungement of a charge of criminal offense and who has been found not guilty of the offense, or against whom charges have been dismissed with prejudice, and not in exchange for a guilty plea to another offense. The person must have no current charges or proceedings pending relating to the matter for which the expungement is sought. § 431.076.
5. How do I get records expunged?
1. A person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor or a violation, or a series of misdemeanors or violations arising from a single incident, may petition the court in which he was convicted for expungement. The petition must be filed after five years of the completion of the person’s sentence or five years after the successful completion of the person’s probation, whichever occurs later. Upon the filing of a petition, the court will set a date for a hearing and notify the county attorney; the victim of the crime, if there was an identified victim; and any other person whom the person filing the petition has reason to believe may have relevant information related to the expungement of the record. Inability to locate the victim will not delay the proceedings in the case or preclude the holding of a hearing or the issuance of an order of expungement. A $100 fee must be paid before the order may be entered. § 431.078.
2. A person who has been charged with a criminal offense and has been found not guilty of the offense, or against whom charges have been dismissed with prejudice, and not in exchange for a guilty plea to another offense, may make a motion, in the District or Circuit Court in which the charges were filed, to expunge related records arising out of the arrest or charge. The expungement motion must be filed no sooner than sixty days after the order of acquittal or dismissal. A court hearing may be held. If a hearing is held, the court will notify the county or state’s attorney, as appropriate, of an opportunity for a response to the expungement motion. Also, if the criminal charge relates to the abuse or neglect of a child, the court will also notify the Office of General Counsel of the Cabinet for Families and Children of an opportunity for a response to the expungement. § 431.076.