We get many phone calls from people who are looking to expunge a criminal record. Having a criminal record, even a minor one, can undoubtedly be a hindrance in today’s society. We created this guide to help you determine if you can have your charges expunged and, if so, the steps you can take yourself to expunge them without needing to hire an attorney.
If you would rather an attorney handle it, we charge a flat fee of $500.00 plus costs to handle an expungement. Most expungements should be pretty straight-forward, but if you have a complicated case such as one involving multiple convictions or are trying to expunge records of charges that were dismissed by a grand jury, give us a call at 859.259.0727. Since you can only use the felony expungement process one time in Kentucky, it is important to make sure that it is done right. If, for example, your conviction is for Possession of a Controlled Substance, 1st Offense, there may be an alternative method available for getting that conviction off your criminal record so you don’t use up your expungement opportunity.
Basic Expungement Eligibility
In 2016, the Kentucky General Assembly significantly expanded the opportunities for citizens of the Commonwealth to be able to expunge their criminal records. Under the new law, a limited number of felony offenses are expungeable, in addition to an expansion concerning the expungement of misdemeanors. First, you need to make sure that you meet eligibility requirements for expungement. The offense(s) you are seeking to expunge must be:
- Not a sex offense or an offense committed against a minor;
- A class D felony offense that is specifically listed here;
- An offense committed within Kentucky (if you have an Ohio conviction, for example, you would need to look into what Ohio’s requirements are);
- If you are seeking to expunge multiple convictions:
- You can expunge misdemeanors whether or not they arose out of the same incident;
- You can only expunge felony offenses if they otherwise meet the criteria for felony expungement and they arose out of the same incident.
Additionally, you must:
- Have waited at least five years since the completion of your sentence. Additionally, if the offense is one that is subject to enhancement (DUI, for example), you must wait until the period for enhancement has elapsed;
- Have no convictions (misdemeanors or felonies) in the five years prior to filing the petition (meaning that you can have convictions within five years of the offense you are trying to expunge, but you must have had five years offense-free before you can file the petition);
- Have no current criminal charges pending against you.
Additionally, if you have a felony charge that was never indicted by a grand jury, you can expunge that as well but you must wait 12 months following the district court’s decision to send the case to the grant jury.
Steps to Expunging a Conviction
As of January 1st, 2014, Kentucky requires that everyone seeking to expunge their record first obtain a “certificate of eligibility” from the Kentucky State Police. You can request this online.
Step #1 Register and Order Certificate
- Go here to register for an account. Once you’ve registered and are waiting for the email confirmation, you can close that window.
- When you get the confirmation email, click the confirmation link. You’ll be taken to a page that indicates success. Click “Continue, you’ll be taken to the login page (here).
- Once logged in, click AOC FastCheck, then click Create New Expungement Certification Request. There are instructions on the left column. Enter your information and submit your request (submit button lower left). NOTE: If the Submit button remains grayed out and does not allow a click, there is an error on your form and you will have to call the KY Court of Justice for help. Go here to find that number. Start with the number at the bottom left.
- The cost for requesting the certificate is $40.00, and is payable online. If you would rather submit your request via the mail, you can download and print a form from here. You will receive an e-mail when the report is ready to view, which can take up to 60 days.
- If you meet the requirements, the report from KSP should list your conviction and note that it is eligible for expungement.
Step #2 Certification Report & Petition
- Once you have the report from KSP and it lists your conviction as eligible, download a petition to expunge your conviction from here. (Note that the form for expunging felony offenses is not yet available). You can fill it in on the computer.
- The agencies you need to list on the form are those that were responsible for arresting you, such as the Lexington Division of Police, for example, along with the Kentucky State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, etc.
Step #3 Within 30 days, FILE the petition and the certification report
- Take the petition and the report from the KSP to the district court clerk in the county where you were convicted (for a Scott County DUI, you would need to take the petition and the KSP certificate to the Scott County District Court Clerk).
- Sign the petition in front of the clerk and file it along with the report from KSP. There is a $100.00 fee per misdemeanor charge that you are seeking to expunge. The fee for felony offenses is $500.00.
- It is important to file the petition within 30 days after the date on the report from the KSP. Otherwise you will have to request another certificate of eligibility from the KSP.
- Ask the clerk if there will be a hearing you will need to attend or if the petition will be acted on without a hearing. Different counties have different procedures, so listen to what the clerk tells you to do at this point. Ideally, you should be done here with no hearing.
Step #4 Once you have filed the petition, that should be it!
If you have questions or run into problems, call us at 859.259.0727.