Time to Act on Criminal Record Expungement Bill01 Mar

Rep. Owens

Since our last post about Rep. Darryl Owens’ House Bill 64, it was returned to the Judiciary committee and modified to address concerns raised during the first committee meeting. The full House then debated the bill and voted to send it to the Senate for consideration.  Because of the changes made, it gained the support of some who had objected to its original language. It passed with strong bi-partisan support, 79 voting yes, and only 21 voting no.

Kentucky law already allows persons guilty of a misdemeanor to ask a court to expunge their criminal records. House Bill 64 would also allow those convicted of a Class D felony to do the same. Class D felony crimes are the least serious of all felonies.

Expungement of one’s record is not automatic, and only those with one felony conviction are eligible. When a request for expungement is made, the court must schedule a hearing and notify the office of the the prosecutor who handled the case of the scheduled hearing.

If the Class D offense committed was a sex offense, an offense related to elder abuse, or an offense committed against a child, then the court is not allowed to expunge the criminal record.

Even if one’s record is expunged a person must reveal that to others whenever federal or state law or regulation requires one to do so.

The Catholic Conference supports HB 64 and similar measures that foster reintegration into society after a person has committed serious crimes and fulfilled the requirements  imposed upon them by the courts. The Conference agrees with the comments made by Rep. David Floyd during the floor debate. After noting that having a felony record impacts a person for life, he added:

Every one of us wants justice to be done. Let justice be done, and then let it be done.

The bill is awaiting a hearing in the Senate Judiciary committee. Join others in contacting your State Senator by calling 1.800.372.7181 to leave a message and urge support for HB 64.

To learn more about what our U. S. and Kentucky bishops have said about restorative approaches to criminal justice, click here and here. Principles in both these documents serve as guides when the Conference makes decisions regarding bills introduced for consideration by Kentucky lawmakers.

Photo: Kentucky Legislative Research Commission website

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6 Responses to “Time to Act on Criminal Record Expungement Bill”

  1. James Adams Reply

    I would like to express overwhelming support for house bill-64.
    I was convicted of a class D drug felony 8 years ago. It is the one and only charge on my criminal record. It is difficult to relay the shame and frustration that this conviction has had on my life since then. Besides the obvious issues with employment, it is the feeling of being a second class citizen that follows indefinitely. To be truthful it is as though I am not a citizen at all as I have had constitutional rights stripped from me. Please understand that all I and many others want is a second chance to be a fully recognized person in society.

  2. Deshai Hughes Reply

    I am going to keep this short, for I know who ever reading this message may be very busy. I am a 36 year old African American Male. I’ve made many mistake in my lifetime, mistakes that Ive learned from and have moved on with my life. I have been in the health care field for the past 6 years as a C.N.A. I have a great reputation in my occupation and have a love and passion for the field. My prayer is that one day I am able to go back to school and persue a R.N. degeree, unfortunately my criminal record has made it impossible to become licensed in the state of N.C. which is where i reside. I would hope your state would open an avenue for those peolple who are truly rehabilitated and would like to finish out the duration of their lives being able to fullfill their hopes and dreams. I now have a family to provide for and want to be able to give them the life they deserve.

    Thank you for your time,
    May God Bless

  3. Daniel Reply

    Mr Owens, I have a question regarding your opinion of the bill and its wording. It discribes a first time felon being eligible if passed. I have two charges of a class D felony for theft over 300, however they were both for the same act, and court case, simply carting two boxes out of a retail store 11 years ago. Is this in your opinion of the bills wording within the guidelines of expungement potential should the bill pass?

  4. Daniel Reply

    Senator Ran Paul on Feb 4 announced on his website he was in agreement this bill was needed in ky. Although he referenced the wrong bill number his support is important to the cause.

  5. Frank Reply

    This bill is very needed. How long will it take though? I reside in Ohio now, but awaiting the passage of house bill 64 so i may get my felony expunged. I was charged a felony in 2003, released from probation in 2009 after serving – “walking”- five years without any new charges. I always ask myself, “why doesn’t Kentucky have felony expungement while majority other states in the United States does?”. I always thought the United States was suppose to be united, but why are laws so different or “divided” when crossing a state line? Make me wonder if should be called “Divided States of America”. Come on Kentucky join the other states giving us felones a chance and pass House Bill 64, please and as soon as possible. Thanks and God bless.

  6. larry Reply

    I was charged with a felony over 8 yrs ago it was a drug offence I’m 60 yrs old and I wish I could have a clean record I’m diabled no harm to any one at all at least I could go hunting I live in the country and it would provide food I just like to vote also its sure been tough on me

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