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 is possible to have old convictions and arrest records sealed. The Stone Law Office will be glad to determine whether you qualify for expungement.
Expungement of Records in Kansas
Under Kansas law, you can legally expunge convictions, as well as records of an arrest for a crime in which charges were later dropped, or in situations in which a jury found you 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 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 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 or arrested of a crime.
Missouri Allows Expungement of VERY FEW Criminal Charges. This Office generally does not assist with requests for expungement out of the State of Missouri.
When Can I Expunge My 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 all restitution, fines and/or court costs have been paid. 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.
To have your record expunged, you must pay a filing fee of $195 for District Courts in Kansas (Usually between $50 and $200 for misdemeanor cases in City courts). The payment of this filing fee is required to petition the court. 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 Me?
Expunging your record from Kansas restores 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 there are 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. 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.
Firearms: 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. The Stone Law Office is available to research any prior conviction and advise you on any prohibition that may apply to you.
The Stone Law Office is a criminal defense law firm located in Kansas City, Kansas, that serves clients throughout the state of Kansas. We can 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 us online for a free consultation.