Facing criminal charges in Kentucky can have a negative effect on many aspects of your life. Depending on what the charges are and what you do for a living, criminal proceedings may also jeopardize your career, not to mention cause some problems in your marriage or personal life, as well. Sometimes, even after a conviction and serving a full sentence, a person’s record can be a stumbling block to getting life back on track.
For instance, a prospective employer might decide not to hire you because of your criminal record. Your spouse might threaten to file for divorce. If the industry you work in requires a license or certification to practice, criminal charges might leave you vulnerable to license revocation. Expungement is a means of wiping the slate clean.
Expungement removes a criminal record from public view
If the court convicted you of a low-level crime, and especially if it was your first offense, you might be eligible for expungement. This is a legal process where the court removes your criminal record from public view. Therefore, no details about the crime for which the court convicted you will show up when someone searches your criminal history.
Criminal records are a matter of public information. When the court expunges a record, it deletes the contents from the computer system. You do not have to tell anyone that the record ever existed. If you are filling out a job application that asks whether you have a felony in Kentucky or elsewhere, you may lawfully answer, “No.”
Indicted by a grand jury
Kentucky law states that, if a grand jury has indicted you, you are no longer eligible for expungement of your criminal record regarding the crime in question. If the governor has pardoned you, you may file a petition requesting expungement of a felony crime.
You will incur fees for filing a petition for expungement, including some that may be non-refundable. One fee is due at the time you file your application. If the judge grants your expungement, a more substantial fee will be a requirement at that time. A prosecutor may retain the criminal record being expunged, which he or she may be able to view or use for certain law enforcement purposes.
Opening a gateway to a better life
If you have made some poor choices in life that landed you in a Kentucky courtroom where you faced charges and conviction for of a crime, you might feel remorseful, as well as embarrassed. You might also be worried that you won’t be able to go to school or find a new job because of your criminal record.
The expungement process can help alleviate such stress. Since not everyone is eligible, it’s best to research criminal defense laws ahead of time to determine if you are a candidate and to learn how to file a petition.