Law effective July 15, 2016
Note: The Administrative Office of the Courts and circuit court clerks cannot provide legal advice or assistance regarding felony expungements.
The 2016 Kentucky General Assembly passed House Bill 40, a new law on felony expungement that went into effect July 15, 2016.
Certain Class D felony convictions are now able to be expunged as a result of the 2016 General Assembly passing HB 40. HB 40 creates a process that permits a defendant to file an application to have his or her conviction vacated and expunged. If the court grants the application, the original judgment will be vacated and the charges dismissed. Records in the custody of any other agency or official, including law enforcement records, will be expunged.
Timeline to File for Felony Expungement
An application cannot be filed sooner than five years after the completion of the person’s sentence or five years after the successful completion of the person’s probation or parole, whichever occurs later.
Process to Obtain a Felony Expungement
A defendant who wishes to have a felony offense vacated and expunged may do the following beginning July 15, 2016.
1. Request an expungement certification from the Administrative Office of the Courts. Once the expungement certification is returned:
2. Complete the AOC legal form Application to Vacate and Expunge Felony Conviction (available soon) and file the form with the Office of the Circuit Court Clerk in the county where the conviction occurred. Attorneys may also eFile felony expungement motions.
- Attach the expungement certification to the motion and pay the filing fee.
- On the application, list any agencies that may have records pertaining to the arrest, charges or conviction.
3. If the prosecutor objects to the expungement within 60 days, the court will schedule a hearing and the circuit court clerk will send notice of the hearing.
4. If the prosecutor does not object, the court may issue an order without a hearing.
5. If the conviction is vacated and expunged, an order will be sent to the agencies listed on the motion. The court and all agencies will expunge their records so that information does not appear on official state-performed background checks.
The filing fee for a felony expungement motion is $500.
An expungement certification (a criminal record report to indicate what records are eligible to be expunged) is required to be filed along with the motion. The cost for an expungement certification is $40.
Effect of the Expungement
Upon entry of an order vacating and expunging a conviction, the original conviction shall be vacated and the record shall be expunged. The court and other agencies shall cause records to be deleted or removed from their computer systems so that the matter shall not appear on official state-performed background checks. The court and other agencies shall reply to any inquiry that no record exists on the matter. The person whose record is expunged shall not have to disclose the fact of the record or any matter relating thereto on an application for employment, credit or other type of application. If the person is not prohibited from voting for any other reason, the person’s ability to vote shall be restored and the person may register to vote.
An order vacating a conviction under this section shall not extend or revive an expired statute of limitations, shall not constitute a finding of legal error regarding the proceedings leading to or resulting in the conviction, shall not nullify any findings of fact or conclusions of law made by the trial court or any appellate court regarding the conviction and shall not constitute a finding of innocence regarding the conviction. KRS 431.073(6), (7).
Information regarding the expungement order shall be retained by the Administrative Office of the Courts and will be accessible for the purpose of preparing an expungement eligibility certificate.
Defendants Charged With a Felony But Not Indicted
HB 40 permits the expungement of felony charges originally filed in District Court that have not resulted in an indictment by the grand jury. The expungement petition, AOC-497.2, may be filed no sooner than 12 months following the date of the District Court decision to hold the matter to the grand jury. There is no filing fee for a petition to expunge felony charges not resulting in indictment. However, an expungement certificate must be requested and attached prior to filing.
Defendants Who Have Been Pardoned
A person who has been granted a full pardon may file to have a felony conviction vacated and expunged. The conviction does not have to be one of the offenses listed on the right.