What is an expungement?

An expungement is where the court, law enforcement, and state agencies seal any record of a specific charge.


Can I expunge a charge I was found not guilty of?

Similar to a dismissed charge, a charge you were found not guilty of can be expunged, 60 days after you were found not guilty.


Can I expunge a misdemeanor I have plead guilty to?

According to KRS431.078 (1), “Any person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor, a violation, or a traffic infraction not otherwise classified as a misdemeanor or violation, or a series of misdemeanors, violations, or traffic infractions arising from a single incident, may petition the court in which he was convicted for expungement of his misdemeanor or violation record…”

When can we file the motion for Expungement?

According to KRS431.078 (2), “Except as provided in KRS 218A.275(8) and 218A.276(8), the petition shall be filed no sooner than five (5) years after the completion of the person’s sentence or five (5) years after the successful completion of the person’s probation, whichever occurs later.”

Are there any things that make my misdemeanor or traffic charge ineligible for expungement?

According to KRS431.078 (4), the following exceptions apply to expungements:

(a) The offense was not a sex offense or an offense committed against a child;

(b) The person had not in the five (5) years prior to the filing of the petition for expungement been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor;

(c) No proceeding concerning a felony or misdemeanor is pending or being instituted against the person; and

(d) The offense is not one subject to enhancement for a second or subsequent offense or the time for such an enhancement has expired.

Do violations include traffic tickets?

According to KRS 431.078 (10), “As used in this section, “violation” has the same meaning as in KRS 500.080”. KRS 500.080 defines a “violation” as “…an offense, other than a traffic infraction, for which a sentence to a fine only can be imposed;”

What does the expungement process involve?

1. If your charge has been dismissed with prejudice, I would be able to file a motion 60 days after the dismissal and the court will either expunge the charge based on the motion or the court will schedule a hearing and I will present your case at the hearing.

2. If your charge involved a guilty plea, I would verify that you are eligible for expungement and that the 5 year time period has passed. Next, I would request the “certification” from the Kentucky state police, which tells the court that you are eligible for the expungement. I would then file a motion, along with the “certification”, with the correct court. The court will then either expunge the charge based on my motion or the court will schedule a hearing and I will present your case at the hearing.

Criminal Defense Attorney Eric Ray, Lexington, Kentucky