How are criminal cases removed from a person's record?
The process of removing a criminal case from a person's record is called expungement. Simply put, a petition is filed with the district court where the conviction occurred and served on the prosecutor. The court will set a hearing date and notify the petitioner and the prosecutor. At the hearing the court will determine if the defendant is eligibile to have the case expunged and whether he should do it. If he agrees and expunges the case the court file is ordered closed and the involved police agencies are ordered to seal their files.
When can an expungement be filed?
This will vary depending on the type of case you want to expunge. For the last five years DUI has been on the list of crimes which can never be expunged. However the Kansas Legislature this year changed the law to allow the expungement of DUI 10 years after all the sentence or probation has been satisfied. This is the longest required delay before applying for an expungement.
Does the judge have to grant an expungement?
No, a judge can deny an expungement and the prosecutor can oppose it. However if you have kept a clean record for 10 years and have an attorney to organize and present the good things you have done during that time a judge will usually grant the expungement. He will, however, want you to have paid off the case and all associated costs.
Does an expungement close the record for all purposes?
No, it does not. It will mean that a private citizen or your insurance company should not be able to find the case. It will mean that your employer should not be able to find it. Moreover it means you can honestly answer "no, I do not have a conviction for DUI." However, if you pick up another DUI charge the prosecutor and the court will be able to see the case and use it against you. If a first DUI is expunged and another DUI then picked up the new one will be treated as a second offense.
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