Having gone for at least a decade with a felony stigma attached to almost everything they do, Kentuckians are ready to get their cases expunged right now. And I don’t blame them one bit. The opportunities that people will have after getting their felony, or dismissed case, or series of misdemeanors expunged have been detailed in depth on this blog. The sooner we start treating people like human beings, instead of some mistake they made, the better.
Earlier this week, I wrote a post that explained that the effective date for the new law will be July 15th, 2016. I talked to an attorney at the Administrative Office of the Courts today, and he confirmed that date is accurate. Further, I was able to learn that while this is the effective date of the legislation no one will be able to apply for an expungement on this day.
Well, Kentucky Revised Statute 431.079 requires that everyone that petitions for an expungement has to have a records check performed by the Kentucky State Police prior to petitioning for an expungement. Historically, this process has not taken very long–about a week. But depending upon the volume of requests and KSP’s response to those requests, the process could take longer. At this point in time, everyone I have spoken to at AOC and KSP has been very sympathetic and understanding, and I have every reason to believe that they will do everything that they can to expedite the certification process. All the same, no one will be able to apply for an expungement on July 15th under the new law, because no one will have a certificate of eligibility from KSP.
While I had this conversation with the attorney from AOC I also learned that it may be some time before we see the finalized version of the felony expungement form. In particular, it is looking more and more likely that the form will not be released until late June, maybe early July. Ultimately this won’t slow down any Clark Law clients from getting expungements, because my software will automatically generate the court required forms once they are available, eliminating data entry time. And even if the forms aren’t released in time, there is no requirement that you have to use the form. Clark Law can generate custom forms if need be to make sure everyone that eligible can have their case expunged as soon as possible.
All in all, it was disappointing, but expected to hear that Kentuckians would have to wait just a little longer to get their record cleared. All the same, it would be smart to start the process today to have everything ready to go on July 15th.