If you were found guilty of a crime at some point in your life, you might find that the conviction is still limiting your choices. Employers, landlords, lenders, and others may be hesitant to do business or refuse service entirely because of your past.
If you are tired of having your opportunities limited because of a mistake from the past, consult a Junction City expungement lawyer about your options. A knowledgeable attorney could help you through the process and defend the legal rights that you worked so hard to regain.
What is Expungement?
Once an offender has completed their sentence, including probation and payment of any fines, state law allows many types of crimes to be erased from an individual’s record. This process is called expungement.
Expungement offers an opportunity for people who have demonstrated an ability to live as law-abiding citizens to be free of the stigma of a criminal conviction. Expungement is available to wipe away arrest records and diversion sentences as well as criminal convictions.
When Can an Individual Apply?
Kansas Annotated Statute §21-6614 sets out the procedure for expungement of a criminal conviction. Only individuals who have completed their sentence and received a satisfactory discharge from any probation or parole requirements are eligible. If someone was convicted of a misdemeanor, they must wait three years before applying for expungement. If one wishes to expunge a felony conviction, the waiting period is five years after discharge from probation or parole.
Who Decides to Grant Expungement?
After the individual completes the waiting period, a Junction City attorney could help them apply for expungement in the court where they were convicted. The court has access to prison records and all other relevant information and will notify law enforcement and the prosecutor of the application.
The court will schedule a hearing to determine whether expungement is appropriate in a particular case. Anyone with pertinent testimony could testify at the hearing. State law directs a court to order an expungement if the court finds that:
- The individual has no felony convictions in the past two years, and no felony charges are pending
- The individual’s behavior and history since completing their sentence support expungement
- Expungement is not a threat to the welfare of the public
Who Can See an Expunged Conviction?
Expungement prevents most people from learning of a criminal conviction, but the record is not hidden from everyone. In certain circumstances, an expunged conviction could continue to have an impact on an individual’s life.
For example, a court could consider an expunged conviction when sentencing someone for a subsequent criminal conviction. Prosecutors might present evidence of an expunged conviction if a prior conviction is an element of a subsequent crime. A correctional facility could use an expunged conviction to make decisions about how and where an inmate will serve their sentence for a subsequent conviction.
An individual must disclose expunged convictions if applying for certain business licenses, such as a license to be a financial advisor or a healthcare provider. They also must disclose it if they seek a gaming or liquor license. However, an expunged conviction need not be disclosed when buying or registering a firearm. A seasoned attorney could help an individual understand the privacy of their expunged conviction.
Some Convictions Are Not Eligible for Expungement
Under state law, not all criminal convictions are eligible for expungement. Usually, convictions are ineligible when the perceived threat to the public in the instance of a repeat offense outweighs the benefits of allowing them to rejoin society with a clean record.
Additionally, anyone who must maintain registration as a sex offender is ineligible to have their conviction expunged. Similarly, individuals who are on a registry of violent offenders or drug offenders may not apply for expungement. Kansas Statutes Annotated §22-4902 sets forth a complete list of crimes that require registration and are in turn ineligible for expungement. A dedicated lawyer could help an individual understand their eligibility for expungement given the nature of their charges.
Contact a Junction City Expungement Attorney Today
You deserve to live your life without the weight of a past conviction affecting the way you are treated. Applying for expungement could open up opportunities in employment, housing, and more that may be closed to you now.
Allow an empathetic Junction City expungement lawyer to handle your request to clear your record. Do not risk your future by trying to deal with an expungement on your own. Our dedicated legal team is ready to help– call today to learn more.