Don't Let Your Past Limit Your Future

New Developments in Kentucky Expungement Law

March 26, 2017

Around this time last year, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed a bill that allows some Class D felony convictions to be cleared from criminal records five years after a sentence is completed. House Bill 40 provides a process for people to file a motion to have his or her conviction vacated—or set aside. If the court grants the application, the original judgment will be vacated and the charges dismissed. Records in the custody of any other agency or official, including law enforcement records, will be expunged.

“It is critical that there is an opportunity for redemption, that there is an opportunity for second chances, because America is a land that was founded on these principles,” Bevin said. An application to expunge an eligible offense can be filed (5) years after the completion of the person’s sentence or five (5) years after the successful completion of the Peron’s probation or parole, whichever occurs later.  The filing fee to petition for a felony expungement is $500. The law will affect thousands of Kentuckians, and covers the most commonly committed felonies, such as drug possession, theft, and others.

More recently, a bill that would allow people to have a juvenile felony conviction expunged has passed both chambers of the Kentucky legislature. Senate Bill 195, much like the above-mentioned Bill, will allow juveniles to expunge a single non-violent and non-sexual felony offenses. The juvenile must not have committed any new offenses within two (2) years after completing the terms of his or her sentence. Tara Grieshop-Goodwin, chief policy officer for Kentucky Youth Advocates, said “Adults can get some felonies expunged, but juveniles get no felonies expunged.” With this bill, “we’re trying to close the gap” between adult and juvenile expungement. Goodwin further said, a juvenile record can have a way “of catching up with a young person.” The Bill will soon be presented to the Kentucky Governor for signature.

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