We’ve all made bad decisions. Perhaps you got in with a bad crowd after graduating high school, or had a lapse in judgment and drove under the influence. You might be a responsible citizen now, but having a criminal record can hold you back from completely moving on from your past and obtaining gainful employment, taking out a housing or auto loan, or qualifying to rent an apartment. Below are some guidelines on expunging an existing criminal record.

What is “expungement”?

Expungement is a process where an individual with certain types of misdemeanor and violation convictions on his or her criminal record can have those convictions removed. This means that you would no longer have to disclose that you were convicted of that crime when applying for a job, credit, or an apartment.

Am I eligible to have my criminal record expunged?

In Kentucky, you may be eligible to have a conviction expunged where you were convicted of a misdemeanor, violation, or traffic infraction, and it has been at least five years since you completed a sentence or probation for that offense, whichever came later. If you were previously convicted of a felony, have been convicted of another misdemeanor or violation in the five years prior to the conviction you’re seeking to have expunged, or if you’ve committed a misdemeanor, violation or felony since the conviction you’re seeking to have expunged, then you won’t be eligible for expungement. Offenses committed against a child and sex offenses are not eligible for expungement.

What if I was convicted of a felony?

Unfortunately, expungement is not typically available for felonies, and felony convictions can keep you from obtaining an expungement of your less serious offenses. There is one exception: if you were convicted of a Class D felony for possession of a controlled substance, you may be eligible to have that conviction removed from your record via a voiding of the conviction. If you have not previously been convicted of possession of controlled substances, then a court can void the conviction after you’ve successfully completed a substance treatment program, probation, or sentence. Voiding a conviction has a similar effect to having that conviction expunged. The conviction won’t appear on your record, and you won’t have to disclose the conviction when asked about your criminal record.

If I am still on probation, or facing other charges, can I obtain an expungement?

You cannot obtain an expungement when you’re still on probation, or if there are charges for a violation, misdemeanor, or felony currently pending against you.

Cleaning up a criminal record can make a world of difference to your future success. Contact an attorney well-versed in how to file a successful Kentucky expungement petition in order to ensure the best possible chance of moving forward with a clean record. From anywhere in Florence, Erlanger, Bellevue, Southeast Ohio, and throughout Gallatin and Grant County, contact the law firm of Greta Hoffman & Associates for a consultation on your criminal expungement, at 859-371-2227.

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