Can I get a Felony Expunged?

Years ago I got caught up in a stupid situation with some friends that resulted in a felony conviction for me. I have not been in any real legal trouble since except for a few speeding tickets. I am married and living an honest life and would like to get that conviction expunged. Is that possible?

Whether the conviction can be expunged depends on a host of factors. The Kansas statute that deals with expungement is KSA section 21-4619.

The statute specifies the amount of time that one must wait before a crime may be expunged. For many crimes, that time is three years. For other crimes, one must wait at least five years before even having the option of seeking an expungement.

The statute indicates that the time period begins to run after the full sentence is served. For instance, if probation was required, the time period will not commence until the probation is fully completed.

Some crimes also may not be expunged—i.e. rape or first-degree murder. Notably, under Kansas law, a DUI conviction or DUI diversion may not be expunged.

To seek an expungement, one must file a proper petition with the court. As a party to any action for expungement, the prosecutor can make arguments for or against the request.

Ultimately, a judge may decide the merits of the request by considering such aspects as the recent behavior of the petitioner and whether granting the petition is in the public welfare. The judge has fairly wide latitude to make a decision in this regard.

If a record is expunged, “the petitioner shall be treated as not having been arrested, convicted or diverted of the crime.” This is significant in many respects—most notably with respect to job applications.

However, there are also a number of exceptions where an expunged crime must be revealed. Anyone with an expunged record should be mindful of those exceptions—i.e. certain licensing or for law enforcement purposes.

Thus, in answer to your question, it appears that you have not engaged in any other criminal activity and your lifestyle would be favorable to your request to seek an expungement.

However, as noted above, other factors impact the answer to your question. A criminal lawyer can likely help you assess your situation and consider your options.