In Kansas, your juvenile court record may be expunged under the circumstances described below. If your record is expunged, it is treated as though it never existed and you are generally not required to disclose its existence to others. However, your record will not be destroyed. You will still have access to it, and the following individuals and agencies can still learn of it:
- a private detective agency or a private patrol operator, if the request is made in conjunction with your application for employment
- a court, upon showing that you have been convicted of a subsequent offense
- the secretary of social and rehabilitation services, to obtain information related to your employment in an institution of the department of social and rehabilitation services
- a person entitled to information about your record pursuant to the terms of the expungement order
- the Kansas lottery, if the request is made in conjunction with your application for employment with the Kansas lottery
- the governor of the Kansas racing commission, or a designee of the commission, if the request made to determine your qualifications for executive director of the commission, for employment with the commission, for work in sensitive areas in pari-mutuel racing, or for licensure, renewal of licensure or continued licensure by the commission, and
- the Kansas sentencing commission.
(Kansas Statutes § 38-2312.)
Does Your Juvenile Record Qualify for Expungement?
You may ask the court to expunge your juvenile record if you are at least twenty-three years old, or if at least two years have passed since you were discharged. The court will grant your request if:
- you have not been convicted of a subsequent felony or a misdemeanor other than a traffic offense, or adjudicated as a juvenile offender, and no such proceedings are pending against you, and
- your circumstances and behavior, in the view of the court, warrant expungement.
Your record will not be expunged if the related offense would be classified as one of the following, if committed by an adult: murder in the first or second degree; capital murder; voluntary or involuntary manslaughter; involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; or most sexual offenses or offenses against children.
In addition, if you are required by the Kansas offender registration act to register your offense, your record will not be eligible for expungement for as long as that requirement is in force.
(Kansas Statutes § 38-2312.)
How to File
You must file a petition for expungement with the District Court in the county where your juvenile case was handled. You can find more information, including a sample petition, by visiting the website of the Johnson County District Attorney. (Note that procedures in other counties may vary; the local court clerk’s office should be able to help you.)
Getting Legal Help
Clearing a juvenile record can be complicated. If you are not sure whether your record qualifies for expungement in Kansas -- or for help completing the necessary paperwork -- you should contact a qualified criminal law attorney. A good lawyer can guide you each step of the way.