Starting in July, the new law (passed as HB40, it will be codified as an amendment to KRS 431.076) will drastically change the way misdemeanors are expunged. No longer will people be limited to only expunging one misdemeanor case in ten years, they will now have the opportunity to potentially expunge their entire misdemeanor record so long as it meets a few criteria.
First, the decision to expunge the entire record will be in the discretion of the judge. If a judge decides not to expunge the record, the defendant will have little recourse for an appeal. The likelihood of someone’s entire record being expunged will depend on the judge, the prosecutor, the charge to be expunged, and the argument presented by the defendant for expungement. A skillful defense attorney could make the difference in someones record being expunged, or in negotiating with the prosecutor not to object to the petition.
Second, instead of having to have had no offenses in the five years prior to the offense to be expunged, a defendant merely has to have gone five years since the last misdemeanor to petition for expungement of the entire record. This is a major change.
The requirements of no active case, no sex offenses, and no crimes against minors is still required to expunge a record. Additionally, any record to be expunged must be outside the window of enhancibility if it is an enhanceable offense. Some examples of enhanceable crimes include Assault 4th Domestic Violence, DUI, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle (Joyriding), most trafficking offenses, and several others. An experience criminal defense attorney can review your record to determine if it contains any enhanceable offenses, and how long the enhancement window is.