Expunging Convictions in Kansas
Aside from jail time and fines, convictions can also have negative repercussions that go beyond a corresponding sentence. Convictions can have a serious impact on your future because it damages your reputation and may be detrimental to your future employment opportunities. Kansas has recognized these consequences and enacted legislation that allows for the expungement of certain convictions from someone’s criminal records. Expungement can help ensure that future employers, licensing agencies, creditors, and communities do not evaluate a person based on mistakes made in the distant past but rather based on that person’s present conduct. If you are seeking expungement of convictions from your records in Wichita or anywhere in the south central Kansas area, you should seek the assistance of a seasoned criminal defense attorney such as J. Joseph Weber of Weber Law Office, P.A.
Grounds for Expungement
Kansas statute at K.S.A. § 21-6614allows people who have certain convictions to petition a convicting court for the expungement of such conviction and related arrest records if three or more years have passed since the petitioner satisfied the sentence imposed or was discharged from probation, a community correctional services program, parole, postrelease supervision, conditional release, or a suspended sentence. This applies to convictions for traffic infractions, cigarette or tobacco infractions, misdemeanors, Class D or E felonies, or any felony ranked in severity level 5 of the statutory drug grid.
The waiting period is extended to five years if the conviction involves the following:
- Class A, B, or C felonies;
- Felonies ranked in severity levels 1 through 4 of the Kansas statute’s drug grid;
- Vehicular homicide;
- Driving while the privilege to operate a motor vehicle on the public highways has been canceled, suspended, or revoked;
- Any crime punishable as a felony wherein a motor vehicle was used in the perpetration of such crime; or
- Failing to stop at the scene of an accident and perform the duties required by law.
If the conviction involves driving a (noncommercial) motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the waiting period for expungement is extended to ten years.
At the hearing on the petition for expungement, the court shall grant the petition if it finds that:
- The petitioner has not been convicted of a felony in the past two years, and no proceeding involving any such crime is presently pending or being instituted against the petitioner;
- The circumstances and behavior of the petitioner warrant the expungement; and
- The expungement is consistent with the public welfare.
Once the petition is granted, the petitioner must be treated as not having been arrested or convicted of the crime except that upon conviction for any subsequent crime, that conviction that was expunged may be considered as a prior conviction in determining the sentence to be imposed. Additionally, the petitioner is required to disclose that the conviction occurred if asked about previous convictions in various special situations outlined in K.S.A. § 21-6614(h)(2)involving particular law enforcement employment, gaming, and others.
The Kansas statute also provides that there are certain offenses for which expungement is not available. These offenses include:
- Indecent liberties with a child or aggravated indecent liberties with a child;
- Criminal sodomy and aggravated criminal sodomy;
- Indecent solicitation of a child or aggravated indecent solicitation of a child;
- Sexual exploitation of a child;
- Aggravated incest;
- Endangering a child or aggravated endangerment of a child;
- Abuse of a child;
- Capital, first degree, and second-degree murder;
- Voluntary manslaughter;
- Involuntary manslaughter;
- Sexual battery and aggravated sexual battery; and
- Driving a commercial motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
You should contact an experienced defense attorney if you believe you are eligible for expungement of your conviction, which can seriously affect your prospects for future employment and economic opportunities. Call Weber Law Office, P.A.at (316) 265-7802 or submit our online information request form. We will review your records, conduct a thorough investigation, and help you pursue a successful expungement.