In April 2016, the Kentucky legislature changed the DUI statues to require a 10 year look back period. Because a DUI is an enhanceable offense, This means that a person seeking to expunge a DUI in Kentucky now has to wait ten years in order to expunge a DUI.
A person can expunge a DUI in Kentucky under certain circumstances.
KRS 431.078 covers the circumstances for the expungement of a misdemeanor DUI. A DUI - first is a misdemeanor according to KRS 431.060 since it does not involve incarceration in the penitentiary. According to KRS 431.078, the court shall grant the expungement if certain conditions are met, including, but not limited to: 1) no previous or pending felony conviction, 2) no misdemeanor or violation offense in the five years preceding the DUI conviction, and 3) no pending nor conviction of a felony, misdemeanor or violation since the conviction sought to be expunged.
By default, if a person receives a DUI-2, DUI-3, etc, then they will not be eligible for expungement of a DUI-1st as these are enhancable offenses within the ten year period as defined by the DUI statutes, KRS 189A.010, et seq.
To begin an expungement, the applicant must obtain an official AOC statewide criminal background check for $40.00. The applicant then files the expungement with the court clerk along with the filing fee. If the court grants the expungement, then it will issue an order to seal the records. The clerk and the court may then reply that no record exists upon any inquiry into the matter. Then, pursuant to statute, the person whose record is expunged shall not have to disclose the fact of the record or any matter relating to the expunged charges on an application for employment, credit, or other type of application.
Of note, an expungement applies only to court records and documents. It does not apply to public records. Therefore, any DUI or misdemeanor recorded in the public record (news paper, internet, etc.) prior to the expungement will most likely remain in the public record and can not be expunged from the public record.
Additionally, a few Kentucky counties have special programs where the parties (prosecutor and defense attorney) may petition the court to set aside certain misdemeanor guilty pleas if the convicted person meets certain requirements, including the fulfillment of their sentence and payment of all fines. These programs typically apply when a person's career is at risk. Please contact your criminal defense attorney to learn about the availability of these programs.