Generally, people do not pride themselves on having a colorful criminal history, but a record of wrongdoing can be difficult to hide. Whether the charges were major or minor, whether they resulted in a conviction or a dismissal, none of that matters to most potential employers, landlords, or creditors. Simply the existence of a criminal record is enough to make it much harder for that person to find a job, rent an apartment, or get a loan. It is possible, however, to legally conceal a charge. Known as “expungement,” this civil proceeding concerning criminal matters essentially erases an arrest or conviction from someone’s record. Kentucky law not only allows the charge to be hidden, it also stipulates that the person does not have to reveal the charge on an application. For example, if a job application asks “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” a person who was granted an expungement can legitimately answer “No.”
Whether you have been arrested or convicted, if you have a criminal record, come to the Kentucky criminal defense attorneys at McNeely Stephenson to discuss your options. We understand what you’re going through, and we have helped hundreds of people who have been where you are now. Based in New Albany, Indiana, we represent clients throughout Kentuckiana. We have the necessary knowledge to determine your eligibility, the experience to thoroughly review your situation, and the skill to guide you through the process. We are committed to assisting those people who have paid their debt to society and whose criminal past is unfairly holding them back from achieving a better future. Talk to us and find out how we can help you. Call 812-725-8224 or fill out our online form
Finding examples of famous expungement cases is a bit like finding gold at the end of a rainbow, since the point of expungement is to delete a criminal case’s history and make it seem as though it never existed. A person whose record is expunged can, for most purposes, treat the arrest or conviction as if it never occurred. However, not all charges can be expunged. Sex offenses, federal and out-of-state charges, offenses committed against a child, and serious felonies are not eligible for expungement. Neither are charges for which the offender is still on probation, or those who are facing pending legal proceedings.
Current Kentucky law provides that certain violations, misdemeanors, and felonies are suitable for expungement 60 days after acquittal or dismissal. Violation, misdemeanor, and low-level felony convictions qualify for expungement five years after the sentence is served or after probation is completed, whichever comes later.
Expungement in Kentucky used to be limited to violations and misdemeanors, but a 2016 law expanded the protections to include 61 Class D non-violent felonies. These incidents can be cleared from criminal records five years after sentence completion. Eligible offenses include possession of a controlled substance, theft, failure to pay child support, third-degree burglary, and prescription forgery. It should never be assumed, however, that expungement is inevitable or automatic. All expungements require the filing of court petitions seeking such relief. Each petition can address only one criminal case, so if you have several, a separate petition must be filed for each one.
If you’ve served your time, you were acquitted, or your charges were dismissed, it can seem unreasonable for you to be denied loans, employment, or other privileges time and time again. There are certain mistakes that should not have to follow someone throughout their lives. If you feel as though you’re still being punished or being punished unfairly because of your criminal record, seeking expungement is a process worth your time. Navigate it successfully by securing the help of a lawyer.
Let us help
The Kentucky expungement lawyers at McNeely Stephenson understand that everyone makes mistakes, but we believe that those bad choices should not prevent the opportunity for a fresh start. We have what it takes to ensure that clients get the effective representation that they deserve, starting with filing a properly drafted petition.
We also know how the Kentucky criminal justice system operates and how to navigate the expungement maze. It is wise to speak with an attorney if you are considering expungement, because if your petition is denied or only partly granted, it cannot be refiled and you could be permanently barred from relief. Don’t take that gamble. To get more information and explore your options, contact McNeely Stephenson today by calling 812-725-8224 or by filling out our online form. The initial consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose. Whatever the specifics of your case, we will be relentless in fighting for you.