People make mistakes. Unfortunately, most criminal records are public information. Because of this, an arrest or conviction may make it difficult to get a job, housing, or an education. An expungement removes a criminal offense from your record for most purposes. Kansas’ expungement laws permit the removal of some juvenile and adult criminal records from state databases.
Expungement of Juvenile Criminal Records
In Kansas, most juvenile records may be expunged. To be eligible for a juvenile expungement, you must:
- Meet an age or time requirement by:
- Reaching at least 23 years old, or
- Waiting at least two years after completing your sentence
- Have no additional or pending criminal cases, and
- Circumstances and behavior merit expungement.
Juvenile expungements must be requested in writing. The court will review your request and either approve or deny the expungement. If approved, your criminal record will become confidential. However, law enforcement and other agencies may still have access to your information.
If you have questions about with the juvenile expungement process, consider contacting a criminal defense lawyer. An expungement lawyer can help assess your eligibility and help file the correct paperwork in your juvenile claim.
Expungement of Adult Criminal Records
In Kansas, you may also expunge adult arrest records and some convictions. You may expunge an arrest record if:
- It was due to mistaken identity,
- There was no probable cause for your arrest,
- You were acquitted or found “not guilty,” or
- An expungement would be in the best interest of justice and your charges were either dismissed or are unlikely to be filed.”
A waiting period is not required for the expungement of an arrest record.
You may also expunge certain misdemeanor and felony convictions. Waiting periods apply—you cannot expunge a conviction if you have any felony convictions in the past two years. Additional requirements vary depending on the severity of the conviction. You may expunge adult convictions under the following circumstances:
- Minor offenses, traffic violations, Class D or E felonies: Three years have passed since you completed your sentence and paid all related fines.
- Most other felonies and motor vehicle offenses (such as failure to have insurance or driving while suspended): Five years have passed since the completion of your sentence, and
- DUI convictions: For the first conviction, five years have passed since your sentence was completed. Additional convictions require a ten-year waiting period.
If you need help determining your eligibility for an adult expungement, consider contacting a criminal defense lawyer.
Are There Restrictions to Expunging a Record?
However, you cannot expunge certain crimes in Kansas. You cannot expunge:
- Sexual offenses, and
- Child abuse offenses.
These limitations apply to both juvenile and adult expungements. Instead, you may want to consider applying for a pardon or clemency.
To request an adult expungement, you must file a:
- Petition for Expungement of Arrest Record, or
- Petition for Expungement of Conviction or Diversion
Procedures vary from county to county—make sure you understand your community’s rules. You may also have to file a cover sheet and other forms with your petition.
Once your petition is filed, the court will notify the prosecuting attorney and the law enforcement agency involved in your case. A hearing will be scheduled to evaluate your eligibility. Typically, you will testify at this hearing. Other witnesses may also be presented.
Associated Fees and Paperwork
You must pay a filing or docket fee with your Petition for Expungement. This fee varies from court-to-court. If you hire an expungement or criminal defense lawyer, you may also be charged for attorney fees and other costs.
Implications of a Successful Expungement
If the court grants your petition, you may lawfully state that the expunged criminal record does not exist. When most employers search your Kansas criminal record, the charges will not be present. Expunged records may still be available to law enforcement agencies.
Consulting an Attorney
In order to successfully expunge your criminal record, you must file paperwork with the courts, attend a hearing, and present evidence supporting your claim. A criminal lawyer or Kansas expungement lawyer can help guide you through this process. Additionally, a lawyer can speak on your behalf during your hearing and give you the best chance of expunging your record.