Clearing Or Sealing Your Criminal Record
Is a past conviction haunting you? Are you worried that it will affect your employment or your reputation if someone checks your background? After a certain period of time, it could be possible to have old convictions and arrest records sealed. Attorney Gary D. Stone will be glad to determine whether you qualify for expungement.
Expungement Of Records In Kansas
Under Kansas law, individuals can legally expunge convictions as well as records of arrests for crimes in which charges were later dropped or in situations when a jury found the defendant not guilty. By sealing your criminal record through expungement, the law gives you specific permission to say (on a job or college application, for example) that you have never been arrested or convicted for that offense. The offense will not show up when a prospective employer or anyone else performs a background check, and the state – in most cases – is not permitted to disclose your prior arrest and/or conviction.
Law enforcement officials do not destroy expunged records; rather, they retain access to your records, and your past convictions can still be used against you if the police charge you with new crimes in the future. You also do not regain your right to possess a firearm through expungement. You do, however, regain your right to be treated by others as if you were never convicted of or arrested for a crime.
When Can You Expunge Your Record? What Is The Process?
For most crimes, you can clear arrests and convictions three years after you serve or satisfy the sentence. Some higher-level felonies require a five-year wait time from the end of your sentence. One only “satisfies” a sentence when they have completed probation, parole, diversion or a prison sentence with no post-release and have paid all restitution, fines and/or court costs. In addition, a petitioner must not have been charged with a felony offense in the preceding two years. Finally, no warrants can be active with any court, including traffic warrants.
The law requires the state district courts to collect a filing fee for an expungement petition. Fees will range from $50 to $200 for misdemeanor cases in city courts. Once the petition is filed, victims and police are notified and given a chance to object. If your request for expungement is denied, you have the right to a hearing before a judge. At a hearing, you are permitted to present evidence supporting your request for expungement.
What Does An Expungement Do For You?
Expunging your record in Kansas restores most of your civil rights in most situations. The largest benefit of expungement is the ability to apply for new employment. Upon a court ordering the expungement of a person’s record, that individual, when asked on an employment application whether they’ve had any prior arrests and/or convictions, is permitted by Kansas state law to answer “no.” In most cases, the prospective employer will not find out about the expunged offense. However, there are certain exceptions to this general rule (see below: K.S.A. 21-6614 – rules on disclosing your prior offense).
Applying for a passport may be a concern. Many times, an application for passport to travel out of the United States will be denied because of a person’s criminal record. In most instances, once a record is expunged, the prior reason for this denial will be cured. You can reapply for a passport.
What About Your Right To Carry A Firearm?
Expungement does not reinstate a prohibited persons’ rights to carry a firearm. Most expungements grant the restoration of a person’s civil liberties “except as provided for by other State or Federal Law.” There are arguments on both sides, but as a general rule, do not count on your firearm rights being restored just by expunging your record. Attorney Stone is available to research any prior conviction and advise you on any prohibition that may apply to you.
Have More Questions About Expungement?
Serving clients throughout Kansas, the Stone Law Office is a criminal defense law firm in Kansas City. Mr. Stone will examine your case and determine if and when your particular case is eligible for expungement. Call 913-281-6601 or 816-516-8000 or contact the firm online for a free consultation.