Expunging or Sealing an Adult Criminal Record in Kansas

In Kansas, many arrest and conviction records can be expunged or sealed so that the general public will not be able to access them. But not all criminal records are eligible.

By , Master of Science in Library and Information Science, Long Island University
Updated June 01, 2023

In Kansas, your criminal record can be expunged under the circumstances described below. If your record is expunged, the public won't have access to it, and in most cases, you won't have to disclose that you were arrested or convicted of a crime.

What Is Expungement?

In general, an expunged criminal record is essentially erased or sealed. When this happens, the record will be hidden from public view and available only to law enforcement agencies and certain other public officials. In most cases, you won't have to disclose to employers, landlords, and others that you were arrested or convicted of a crime.

Expungement in Kansas if You Were Not Convicted of a Crime

If you were arrested but not convicted of a crime, you may petition to have your arrest record expunged. Your request will most likely be granted if:

  • the arrest was due to mistaken identity
  • the court finds there was no probable cause to arrest you
  • you were found not guilty, or
  • the court feels that expungement is in the best interests of justice and no charges were filed against you or the charges were dismissed.

Expungement in Kansas if You Were Convicted of a Crime

Some convictions can be expunged in Kansas after a certain amount of time has passed. Below are the rules for some common types of convictions.

Offenses with a three-year waiting period. If you were convicted of one of the following crimes, you can petition for expungement if more than three years have passed since you satisfied the conditions of your sentence, diversion agreement, probation, community service, parole, or post-release supervision:

  • a traffic infraction
  • a tobacco infraction
  • a misdemeanor
  • a class D or E felony
  • an off-grid felony or nondrug crime of severity level 6-10, committed on or after July 1, 1993
  • a drug-related felony of severity level 4, committed on or after July 1, 1993, but before July 1, 2012, or
  • a drug-related felony of severity level 5, committed on or after July 1, 2012.

Other convictions might qualify for expungement after three years if you've completed a diversion agreement.

Offenses with a five-year waiting period. If you were convicted of one of the following crimes, you can petition for expungement if more than five years have passed since you satisfied the conditions of your sentence, diversion agreement, probation, community service, parole, post-release supervision, conditional release, or suspended sentence:

  • a class A, B, or C felony
  • an off-grid felony, committed on or after July 1, 1993
  • a nondrug crime of severity level 1-5, committed on or after July 1, 1993
  • a drug-related felony of severity level 1-3, committed on or after July 1, 1993, but before July 1, 2012
  • a felony of severity level 1-4, committed on or after July 1, 2012
  • perjury
  • vehicular homicide, or
  • other serious traffic or vehicle offenses.

Exceptions: offenses that can't be expunged. Convictions for murder, manslaughter, child abuse, rape, and most other sexual offenses can never be expunged. See Kan. Stat. § 21-6614(e), for the full list of disqualifying offenses.

Additionally, if you were convicted of an offense that requires you to register under the Kansas Registration Act, no part of your criminal record may be expunged while you are required to register. The Kansas Registration Act applies to people convicted of sex offenses, violent crimes, and many drug offenses.

Prostitution. If you were convicted of the former crime of prostitution or what current Kansas law now calls "selling sexual relations," or you got diversion for such an offense, you may petition for expungement if:

  • if at least one year has passed since you satisfied the conditions of your sentence, diversion agreement, probation, community services, parole, post-release supervision, conditional release, or suspended sentence, and
  • you can prove that someone else coerced you into committing the crime.

Driving under the influence. If you were convicted of a crime related to driving under the influence, you can petition for expungement if more than five years have passed since you satisfied the conditions of your sentence, diversion agreement, probation, community service, parole, post-release supervision, conditional release, or suspended sentence. If you were convicted more than once of a DUI offense, you must wait ten years to apply.

Violations of city ordinances. If you were convicted of violating a city ordinance, you may petition to have the conviction expunged if you satisfy the waiting period for the given violation and meet other requirements.

How to File for Expungement in Kansas

The Kansas Judicial Council's website is an excellent resource for instructions on how to file for expungement. They also have the forms you'll need to file. If you have questions about how to proceed, an attorney can guide you.

Getting Legal Help

Cleaning up a criminal record can be complicated, and the law can change at any time. To learn more about expunging criminal records in Kansas—and to discuss your personal circumstances—you should contact a qualified criminal defense attorney.

(Kan. Stat. §§ 22-2410, 12-4516, 21-6614, 22-4902 (2023).)

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