2019 Kentucky Expungement Expansion

A criminal record can have a negative impact on nearly all facets of life. Persons with criminal histories have limited income potential and job opportunities. Their ability to participate in their children’s school and extracurricular activities is restricted. Some cannot vote or own a firearm.

An expungement can instantly remove these barriers and open doors leading to happiness, success and new freedoms. The relatively small monetary investment associated with an expungement can result in a big payoff both financially and with one’s quality of life.

Expungement laws allow people to “erase” certain criminal cases and protective order cases (EPOs and IPOs) from their record. Once expunged, the case will not appear in background checks performed by police, courts, potential employers, school admission departments, professional licensing authorities and others. Also, individuals may legally deny the existence of expunged cases on applications or in response to other inquiries.

For decades, only dismissed felonies (or acquittals) and misdemeanors could be expunged. In 2016, Kentucky expanded eligibility to some Class D felonies and dismissed EPOs and IPOs. The new 2019 law goes even further and allows expungement of most all D felonies. Offenses committed prior to 1975 which were not covered by the previous law are now included, as well.

D felony convictions remaining ineligible for expungement include 4th or subsequent offense DUI, 3rd or subsequent offense domestic assault, impersonating a peace officer, abuse of a public office, a sex offense, an offense committed against a child and any offense resulting in serious bodily injury or death.

Expungement eligibility waiting periods vary depending on the case and outcome. Most misdemeanors may be expunged five years after conviction. However, the waiting period for a misdemeanor DUI is 10 years. Class D felony convictions are subject to a five year waiting period. Felonies of any class dismissed “without prejudice” (meaning the charge could possibly be reinstated) may be expunged after five years. Any EPO or IPO if dismissed may be expunged six months later. Lastly, any case – felony or misdemeanor – dismissed outright before trial or won by acquittal at trial may be expunged 60 days from conclusion.

In more good news, the new law also reduces the felony expungement filing fee from $500 to $300, $250 of which may be paid in installments. However, the expungement may not be completed until the entire amount is paid in full. The misdemeanor filing fee remains $100. No filing fee is required for any dismissed case or a case which resulted in acquittal at trial.

Under the older laws, over 90,000 people in Kentucky were eligible for an expungement.  Now, under the new law, that number is even greater. To date, only a small fraction have sought an expungement. Most are either unaware they can get an expungement or do not know how to go about getting one.

If you are interested in having your record evaluated, contact Harralson Law today for a free phone consultation: 502.540.5700

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