Expungement of Criminal Records

By: Kelly Sparks
By: Kelly Sparks

Thousands of criminal cases have been wiped off the state’s books as if they never existed. This is because of an expungement law that went into effect in the early nineties.

While some argue criminal history, no matter the severity should stay on record, others say they shouldn’t be handcuffed by their past.

Bowling Green resident, Stephen Anderson is a court reporter at the Warren County Justice Center, but recently he saw himself on the other side of the bench.

Anderson says he lives in a subdivision where each family had an opportunity to name the road they live on, after a while no family came forth with a name, that’s when Anderson decided to name the road himself, which he called Anderson Road.

Anderson says after that decision is when his troubles began.

“Three of the families got extremely mad at me, so one lady filed a charge against me of trying to run her off the road.”

Which Anderson says never happened and that’s one of the reasons why he’s trying to wipe away the charge.

Expungement is a law designed to help people wipe out minor convictions or more serious charges that end in acquittals or dismissals.

The 1992 Statue says judges, upon request, must expunge misdemeanor convictions five years after completion of the person’ sentence if the applicant has no other criminal violations within that time.

Advocates of expungement, like Anderson says erasing criminal histories is one way to help people have a second chance and an opportunity to find decent jobs, support their families and be a productive member of society.

Most states have some form of expungement laws. Kentucky allows only misdemeanor convictions to be expunged; they do not expunge felony convictions.

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