Expungement and Sex Crimes
We’re all likely to make mistakes at some point in our lives. Unfortunately, if you’re charged for a crime you did or didn’t commit, you’ll be left with a permanent record that shows the entire world that you slipped up.
But the good news is that state laws do change every now and then. In Kentucky, for example, certain criminal convictions can be made to disappear. That’s right! You can make that minor crime you committed a while ago disappear with an expungement.
Of course, you can apply for an expungement on your own. However, it’s always best to hire one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys to get the job done correctly. They can help erase or seal your criminal record from the public, and, generally speaking, you won’t have to reveal that you were charged or found guilty of a crime.
What’s an Expungement?
An expungement is the erasing of a felony or misdemeanor charge and/or conviction on your record. If your case is dismissed or you’re found not guilty, this doesn’t mean that the charges will automatically disappear from your criminal record. The case and the evidence associated with it remain until you formally clear it through expungement.
An expungement will do away with the charges appearing on your criminal record. Without it, your charges can pop up during your job interview or promotion interview, when engaging in school activities like teaching or coaching, or in other situations.
In Kentucky, the type of case expunged determines the implication of an expungement. Generally speaking, you might be eligible for an expungement if:
- Your charge(s) were dismissed with prejudice.
- You do not have other charges pending at this time.
- If you pled guilty to a Class D felony, it is eligible to be expunged pursuant to KRS 431.073.
- At least five (5) years has passed since your probation period or sentence of imprisonment has ended.
- You have not been convicted of a sex crime.
- You have not been convicted of a crime involving a child.
Why Would One Seek an Expungement?
In Kentucky, getting an expungement is invaluable. An expungement effectively gets rid of your convictions, which can otherwise be revealed on official background checks done by the state. You can use them as defenses for future offenses. They’ll also let you deny a criminal conviction in your job applications. They can also help you secure obtaining approval to lease an apartment or rental home.
Most employers today carry out background checks. Many of them will disqualify applicants with convictions. Even a minor conviction such as a traffic infraction can put you at a serious disadvantage compared to someone without a criminal record.
Even mortgage officers and landlords now perform background checks. An old conviction might get in the way of your dream home or make you pay a higher interest rate.
With an expungement, however, you can regain your lost rights. A felony conviction will make you lose your right to hold public office, vote, have a firearm, or be a jury member. You can restore those rights with a felony expungement.
A domestic violence misdemeanor removes the right to own a gun for life. You can restore those rights with a misdemeanor expungement.
Some minor drug possession offenses can disqualify you from student loans. You could get back to school by having those offenses expunged under KRS 218A.276.
If you’ve got a conviction in Kentucky, many professional boards won’t give you a license. Whether you’re a working professional or not, Kentucky’s statutes make it hard for anyone with a criminal record to get any kind of license. For example, some laws bar motorcycle safety instructors, pesticide dealers, and even pro wrestlers from being licensed.
An expungement can grant you another chance in life. If you have an old conviction, an expungement can do you a world of good. Knowing that your record is clean will give you the peace of mind you need.
What Are the Implications of an Expungement?
When a Kentucky court gives you an expungement, it orders all state institutions to erase their records. If your misdemeanor or non-conviction is expunged, the record is removed from law enforcement.
When it comes to a Class-D felony expungement, a private copy of your conviction can be retained at the prosecutor’s office only for law enforcement purposes.
Your acquittal, dismissal, or conviction is done away with and won’t appear on any background check. For the most part, you can legally refute accusations of being convicted or arrested.
Kentucky law permits courts to erase juvenile records, including all records kept by the court, any law enforcement official or state agency, and all elementary and secondary schools.
Can Sex Crimes Be Expunged from My Record?
No. You can’t have felony sex crimes removed from your record. If you’re convicted of a sex crime and must register as a sex offender, an expungement won’t remove that prerequisite.
Moreover, a felony sex crime is impossible to expunge. Having a sex offense on your record makes it almost impossible to get any kind of license or find a better job than one that pays minimum wage.
In most cases, Kentucky law allows you to expunge the following from your criminal record:
- Certain nonviolent felonies
- Certain misdemeanor convictions
- Records of imprisonment at the county jail after a clean probation period
In most states, including Kentucky, you can never expunge any sexual activity involving a child or minor. Examples can include:
- Enticing or luring a child
- Child pornography, whether possessing or producing
- Exposing a child to sexually explicit material
Very few sex felonies can be expunged under Kentucky law. This may include sexual misconduct or lustful behavior. However, this all depends on the context of each specific case. That’s why it’s important to hire a sex crimes defense attorney who knows what it takes to get rid of a sex crime record.
Contact a Georgetown, Kentucky Sex Crimes Attorney
If you’ve faced charges for a minor crime in Georgetown or Lexington, Kentucky, it’s essential to have your criminal record expunged to get your life back on track. In that case, you should hire an experienced local criminal defense attorney to get you through an expungement process.
One of our attorneys can apply for expungement on your behalf if you’re eligible. Moreover, if the process calls for court proceedings, they can successfully argue your case in court to help you access the opportunities you might miss out on. Schedule a consultation today with Zach Buckler.