In February of this year, the Kentucky Supreme Court heard the case of Commonwealth v. Davis (2024), in which the Commonwealth of Kentucky appealed the decision of the Fayette County Circuit Court granting Ahmad Rashad Davis’s petition to expunge his dismissed charge of theft by deception. The Supreme Court of Kentucky reversed the Kentucky Court of Appeal’s decision and vacated the Circuit Court’s Order, granting the expungement. The key issue is whether the Judge shall only look at the written Judgement, to determine if a criminal charge was dismissed in exchange for a guilty plea, or can the Court look at other evidence?

In 2013, Davis entered into a plea agreement for his pending charges of Medicaid fraud and theft by deception. These charges were based on the allegations that Davis was altering timesheets to defraud Medicaid. Davis plead guilty to the Medicaid fraud charge, but the prosecution moved to have his theft by deception charge dismissed. Then, in 2021 Davis filed a petition with the Fayette Circuit Court to have his dismissed charge expunged. However, the Commonwealth argued to the Circuit Court that this charge was not eligible to be expunged, because it was dismissed in exchange for his guilty plea to the Medicaid fraud charge. The

Fayette Circuit Court eventually granted Davis’s petition, because the Judgement made no mention of the charge being dismissed, in exchange for a guilty plea. The Commonwealth argued that the Court may consider other evidence, besides the Judgement, but the Circuit Court disagreed.

This is important because under the Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS), rule 431.076(1)(b) states, “dismissed charges that were not dismissed in exchange for a guilty plea to another charge are eligible to be expunged upon request.” So, the question became, may the Judge consider other evidence, showing whether the charge was dismissed in exchange for a guilty plea, or is the Judgement the final word?

The Supreme Court of Kentucky has now sent the case back to the Fayette County Circuit Judge to review evidence, beyond just the Judgement, to determine whether the charge was dismissed in exchange for a guilty plea.

When seeking expungement for a criminal charge, you should select counsel that understands the statutes surrounding expungement. Sadly, many of our expungement laws can be confusing or nonsensical.

If you or someone you know needs assistance in procuring expungement, call our office today at 859-242-3487 or contact us via email at to set up a consultation.