July 21, 2016
Thanks to a new Kentucky bill, Class D felons are now eligible to have their convictions expunged from their criminal records just five years after their sentence is completed.
Felony expungement takes the felony off of the offender’s record and gives them the ability to apply for jobs without having to disclose the conviction. They are also returned the rights and privileges that were withheld from them, such as voting, traveling abroad, bearing arms, serving on a jury, parental benefits, housing options, and many more.
These Class D offenders who committed crimes such as theft, drug possession, or not paying child support will now have the chance to have their records expunged after only five years with a clean record. They must pay a $500 fee plus a $40 fee for an expungement certification. Once an expungement certification is granted, the offender must petition the court where the original charge was filed for the actual expungement.
Allowing for Class D felony expungement was one of Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin’s campaign promises. The bill had been proposed in Kentucky government before, but had not been passed due to Republican resistance in the Senate. Once Bevin, also a Republican, supported this bill, it easily passed through Kentucky government and was signed into law.
Now that Kentucky has passed this important legislation, former felons will be able to get their lives back on track faster. They will be able to get better jobs without one moment of indiscretion hanging over their heads for the rest of their lives.
“It is critical that there is an opportunity for redemption, that there is an opportunity for second chances,” Bevin said. “America is a land that was founded on these principles.”
Sources: http://wfpl.org/felony-expungement-bill-signed-into-law/ and http://courts.ky.gov/Expungement/Pages/process.aspx