Expunging or Sealing Adult Criminal Records in Kentucky

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.

Expungement in Kentucky 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)
  • you were charged with a felony but not indicted by the grand jury, 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.

If your charges were dismissed or you were acquitted, you can file your petition after waiting 60 days from the time of dismissal or acquittal. If your charges went to a grand jury but you were not indicted, you must wait a year from the date the district court decided to hold the matter to a grand jury.

(Ky. Rev. Stat. § 431.076 (2018).)

Expungement in Kentucky If You Were Convicted of a Crime

Misdemeanors, violations, and traffic infractions. If you were convicted of a criminal misdemeanor, violation, or traffic infraction—or multiple misdemeanors, violations, or infractions—the related records may be eligible for expungement five years after you complete your probation or sentence, whichever is later. However, your records are not be eligible for expungement if:

  • you have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor in the last five years
  • 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.

(Ky. Rev. Stat. § 431.078 (2018).)

Class D felonies. Certain Class D felony convictions are eligible to be vacated and expunged five years after you complete your sentence, probation, or parole, whichever is later. However, your record does not qualify if:

  • you have already had a felony conviction vacated and expunged
  • you have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor in the last five years, or
  • you have criminal proceedings pending against you.

You can vacate and expunge multiple Class D felonies if they arose from the same incident. Otherwise, you are allowed only one Class D felony conviction expungement in a lifetime.

See Kentucky Statutes § 431.073 for the full list of eligible Class D felonies.

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.

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