A Kentucky Law Allows Residents To Expunge Criminal Records

March 17, 2020
State legislators passed a bill that creates new expungement opportunities for people with minor convictions.
Backgrounds Online | March 17, 2020

State legislators passed a bill that creates new expungement opportunities for people with minor convictions.

About The Bill

Kentucky House Bill 47 (HB47) states that under certain circumstances, people with non-violent Class D felonies may be eligible to expunge their criminal records. Residents are allowed to request this service five years after completing a period of incarceration or the terms of their probation or parole.

HB47 states that any person who was convicted of either a single Class D felony or misdemeanor, or a series of Class D felonies and misdemeanors during one incident, may petition the court to have those records sealed after a specified timeframe. Before a request is approved, the court will ensure the offense was not violent or sexual and that the person was not convicted of another offense within the last five years. The Administrative Office of the Courts will keep a confidential index of expungement orders.

Learn more about the bill.

Support For Expungement Laws

Mayor Steve Austin signed HB47 into law. He was quoted as saying: “We need good workers that, you know, maybe they’ve made a mistake five years ago, but they’re clear since then. We want to put those people to work.”

Community leaders also supported this bill. They hope it will empower more Kentuckians to enter the workforce. Numerous companies in the state are looking for additional employees. By sealing old criminal records, more residents will become eligible and therefore likely to apply for those open positions.

Second Chance Movement

Kentucky is one of many locations in the United States that is passing laws to help ex-offenders. This is part of a larger Second Chance Movement that seeks to help people with minor or outdated criminal records find employment opportunities. We’ve seen numerous bills passed to help achieve that goal. Some of the most common features of these laws include:

· Prohibiting employers from asking job seekers about criminal convictions until after an interview or conditional offer.
· Creating opportunities for people to have criminal records sealed.
· Asking employers to run individualized assessments of convictions to determine if they are relevant to a position or if they indicate an applicant might pose an undue risk.
· De-criminalizing certain types of offenses.

What Employers Should Know

If you operate in an area where a Second Chance law is active, then you must be compliant. For example, employers in Kentucky should be aware that the passing of HB47 means more residents are likely to have their criminal records expunged. When that happens, those offenses can no longer be reviewed, considered or used as a factor while making business-related decisions.

Organizations must follow federal and state laws when hiring and background screening employees or job seekers. One of the best ways to bolster your compliance efforts is to work with an accredited Consumer Reporting Agency like Backgrounds Online. We provide sample compliance forms and comprehensive background checks that only contain reportable records you can use to help make informed employment decisions.

When you’re ready to background screen employees, applicants, volunteers or contractors, please contact us. Our experienced team is available to assist you Monday through Friday from 5am to 6pm PT.