In Kentucky, your criminal record may be expunged -- that is, erased or sealed -- under the circumstances described below. If your record is expunged, it will be hidden from public view and, in most cases, you will not have to disclose that you were arrested or convicted of a crime.
If You Were Not Convicted of a Crime
If you were arrested -- or arrested and charged -- but not convicted of a crime, you can petition to have the related record expunged if:
- the charges were dismissed with prejudice (this means they cannot be refiled later), or
- you were found not guilty of the offense.
The dismissal or acquittal must not be in exchange for a guilty plea to another offense, and you may not have any other charges or proceedings pending that relate to the record you are seeking to expunge.
You can file your petition after waiting 60 days from the time of dismissal or acquittal.
(Kentucky Statutes § 431.076.)
If You Were Convicted of a Crime
If you were convicted of a criminal misdemeanor or violation -- or multiple misdemeanors or violations arising from a single incident -- the related records may be eligible for expungement five years after you complete your probation or sentence.
Your records are not be eligible for expungement if:
- you have ever been convicted of a felony
- you have been convicted of a crime in the time since the conviction that you want to expunge
- you were convicted of a crime in the five years prior to the conviction you want to expunge
- there are any criminal proceedings pending against you, or
- the offense you seek to expunge was a sex offense or an offense committed against a minor.
(Kansas Statutes § 431.078.)
Getting Legal Help
The Legal Aid Network of Kentucky offers an interactive, online form to help you file for expungement. Before you use the form, however, you should carefully read the organization’s Criminal Records Expungement FAQ.
If you have any questions about cleaning up your criminal record that aren’t answered by Kentucky Legal Aid, you should contact a qualified criminal law attorney. A good lawyer can assess your personal circumstances and help you get the results you want.