For the first time in Kentucky, even if you have been convicted of multiple misdemeanor offenses, we can now expunge your convictions and charges! Almost all misdemeanor offenses committed before 2014 are now eligible for expungement! Remember: In order to expunge a conviction you must have no pending offenses, and you have not committed a misdemeanor or felony in the past 5 years. Finally, you completed your parole or probation at least 5 years ago!
Kentucky's courts may now expunge your misdemeanor record if you have no pending charges and the expungement petition is filed no sooner than (5) five 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. (KRS 431.078 (2)) In other words, we are eligible to petition the court to expunge your misdemeanor criminal conviction(s) if you have completed your sentence, including probation, more than (5) five years ago.
At your expungement hearing, the District Judge must make the following findings of law:
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 misdemeanor (Author note: minor traffic violations committed with the past five (5) years such as speeding or improper parking will not bar you from petitioning the court to expunge your misdemeanor record);
c. No proceeding concerning a felony or misdemeanor is pending or being instituted against the person;
d. The offense is not one subject to enhancement for a second or subsequent offense of the time for such enhancement has expired;
KRS 431.078 (4)
Domestic Violence cases are often the most challenging to expunge. The prosecutors and Judges have reservations about expunging these cases because of the number of times a violator may reoffend or may cause the death or serious physical injury to the victim or a member of the victim's family. More than any other misdemeanor case, we need to prepare for the objection of the victim and the prosecutor. As a former Judge and prosecutor myself, the most important and persuasive argument that can be made would include
1. You followed court orders and have no contact with the victim
2. You completed counseling
3. You have moved on with your life and your relationships
4. Your lack of criminal history other than this case
5. You addressed alcohol or drug dependency issues, belong to NA or AA, have a sponsor., etc
6. Attend church, respected member of the community, volunteer etc.
In addition, in some cases, even securing the expungement of the criminal offense will not result in the restoration of the Petitioner's right to possess or own a firearm because of federal law. The most common example of the conflict between a state's expungement law and the federal firearm law is in the case where a Circuit or Family Court Judge has issued a Domestic Violence Order(DVO). If such order, which differs from an Emergency Protective Order has been issued, the petitioner will still be blocked from securing, possessing, or owning a firearm. They will not be able to secure a CCDW license, or a gun license.