Criminal Record Impacts
A criminal record can negatively impact your life in a number of not-so-obvious ways. Though most people assume that a jail sentence is the worst outcome of a criminal conviction, the truth is that the repercussions can continue long after you get out of jail. For example, a conviction can drastically narrow your job prospects, interfere with your child custody goals and make it difficult for you to find safe housing, to name a few consequences. The good news is, you may not have to live with the backlash for forever. This is the case if you can obtain an expungement.
What is an expungement?
According to the Kentucky Expungement Guidebook, expungement refers to the legal process of removing a criminal charge, conviction or arrest from your record. Without expungement, the information threatens to stay on your criminal record for the duration of your life. This means you cannot answer “NO” when a job or apartment application asks if you have any criminal convictions on your record. If successful in your expungement petition, however, the state must remove all records relating to the crime, meaning you can honestly answer “NO” when faced with such a question in the future.
Are you eligible for expungement?
Kentucky’s expungement laws are fairly strict and allow for expungement in very few instances. You may be eligible for expungement if the following apply:
- Your crime is a Class D felony or misdemeanor
- The state acquitted you of the charges or dismissed them
- The governor granted you a pardon
Even if you meet one or all of the above criteria, you may still not be eligible. If you have any criminal charges pending against you, you are not eligible. If not more than five years have passed since your last conviction or since the completion of your sentence (including paying the fines and probation), you are not yet eligible for expungement. If the state convicted you of a sex offense or an offense against a child, you do not qualify. If you already expunged a prior Class D felony from your record, you cannot expunge additional charges or convictions.