Have you ever been arrested for or charged with a crime? Did you know that this information will be on your criminal record, even if you were never convicted? This can seriously affect your ability to get or keep a job. Most employers run background checks before hiring new employees. Who do you think an employer will choose – an applicant with a criminal record, or one without?
Fortunately, your arrest, charges, or conviction might not have to stay on your criminal record forever. In Kentucky, you can petition the court to expunge – or erase – your record. Studies show that expunging your criminal record can increase the amount of money you make by as much as 25 percent.
Don’t let your history ruin your future. Contact the experienced legal team at Suhre & Associates, LLC for help getting your criminal record expunged. When you call, we’ll review your case and determine if you are eligible for expungement. Thanks to a new Kentucky law, more people than ever before can get their records expunged. Contact our Louisville law firm at (502) 371-7000 to schedule a free consultation and learn more.
What is Expungement?
Expungement means erasing certain information from your criminal record. This can include records of arrest, criminal charges, pleas, and convictions. After your record is expunged, the details about your criminal history are no longer contained in government-controlled databases. When someone runs a background check – perhaps because you’re applying for a job or trying to land a new apartment – they won’t find any details of your criminal past.
However, it is important to realize that expungement only affects official records. There might still be mugshot photos, newspaper articles, or other indicators of your criminal history on the internet. Should an employer decide to perform a search on their own, they may find evidence of your run-in with the law. You can privately contact websites on your own and ask them to remove these records.
Why Should I Get My Record Expunged?
Having a criminal record can affect your life in many ways. This is true even if charges were never filed or you were exonerated. Details of your prosecution will be on your record for others to see. With a criminal record, you may find that life becomes more difficult.
- Employers are less likely to offer interviews to candidates with a criminal record
- Employers are more likely to hire employees who don’t have a criminal record
- You may be disqualified from working in certain industries, including education or healthcare
- Landlords may be unwilling to rent you an apartment because of your record
- You may face limits on where you can live
- You may be ineligible for loans, credit cards, or financial assistance
- Courts may be inclined to award custody of your kids to the other parent
- Professional organizations may refuse to grant you a license (e.g., medical, law, nursing)
Getting your record expunged can help in all of these situations. When your record is expunged, you are legally allowed to say that you haven’t been arrested/charged/convicted of a crime. You’ll find that your life gets easier and that you have fewer obstacles as you navigate your life.
Am I Eligible to Get an Expungement?
Not everyone can get their criminal record expunged. There are limits on who can seek expungement, which crimes can be expunged, and when expungement can occur. However, thanks to a new Kentucky law, more Kentuckians are eligible for expungement than ever before.
You might be eligible for an expungement if:
- Your criminal charges were dismissed with prejudice
- You are not currently facing any criminal charges
- You pled guilty to a particular Class D felony
- At least five years have passed since your probation or criminal sentence ended
- You’ve never been convicted of a sex crime
- You’ve never been convicted of a crime involving a child
You can always petition a court to expunge an arrest or criminal charges if you were acquitted, the charges were dropped, or the state chose not to prosecute.
Which Crimes Can Be Expunged From My Kentucky Criminal Record?
Non-violent misdemeanors and Class D felonies might be eligible for expungement from your Kentucky criminal record. Most of these crimes involve drugs or theft. Eligible offenses may include:
- Theft or possession of a prescription blank
- Forgery of a prescription
- Drug possession
- Marijuana cultivation
- Third degree burglary
- First degree criminal mischief
- Theft by disposition or fraud
- Identity theft
- Sports bribery
- Evidence tampering
- Criminal trespassing
- Disorderly conduct
- Juvenile crimes
- Public intoxication, and
- Traffic violations.
You may not expunge a sex crime or crime involving a child, even if that offense was classified as a misdemeanor.
You may also be able to expunge an emergency protection order or temporary protection order from your record. This can happen if the order was never made permanent and at least six months have passed since it was first issued.
When Can I Get My Record Expunged?
The state won’t let you get your record expunged right away. The length of time you have to wait depends on the outcome of your case.
Charges Dismissed With Prejudice: You must wait 60 days to file a petition to expunge your record.
Criminal Conviction: At least five years must have passed since you successfully completed your criminal sentence and the terms of your probation. You must have not been convicted of a crime or currently facing new charges.
How Do I Get My Record Expunged?
There’s a specific process involved in getting your Kentucky criminal record expunged. Here’s a brief overview.
- Request a certificate of eligibility for expungement from the Kentucky State Police.
- Submit your petition for expungement and supporting documents – including the certificate of eligibility – to the court.
- Attend a court hearing where a judge will review your petition.
If a judge agrees that your record should be expunged, they’ll issue an order that applies to all records of your arrest, charges, and other matters related to the offense. This will include all court and government agency records. Your record will be sealed and won’t show up in publically-searchable databases. Only law enforcement agents and the courts will be able to see the expunged information.
You’ll want to make sure that you make the strongest possible argument for expungement. The best thing you can do is hire an experienced expungement attorney to handle your petition. Contact the legal team at Suhre & Associates to find out how we can help you clear your record.
We have more than 15 years of experience navigating expungement proceedings on behalf of our clients. You can trust that we’ll do everything in our power to get your record sealed and give you a fresh start. The sooner you call, the sooner we can get to work on your case.