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For a petty crime that happened more than 27 years ago, convicted felon West Powell has been having trouble with getting his life straight due to a criminal record that has been keeping him from getting a good job and a good education. Now, Powell’s testimony during a state legislative committee that was held last year has now persuaded the Senate Judiciary to change their minds and support a new bill that allows convicted felons the chance to clear their records.
The brand new expungement law allows a person’s criminal records to be completely removed via an approval from a judge. The law is of course very much limited to a certain number of crimes but the news is still somewhat comforting to the 45 year old felon whose only crime was of stealing card radios from a junkyard when he was a teenager almost three decades ago.
Powell was grateful for the decision and mentioned that because of the new law he will no longer have to deal with problems with background checks and has considered the opportunity as a second lease in life.
“I can finally close that chapter, that ugly little thing there and, you know, go forward. I’m waiting for that final paperwork to come and I’m going to frame it and put it up on the wall.” Powell had mentioned.
Kentucky’s new felony expungement law goes into effect this week. People who are experiencing the same plight as Powell can now apply for their records to be expunged. People who have been free from any other convictions five years after their completed sentence are eligible to apply for the expungement. Candidates with multiple convictions and any other pending charges are automatically disqualified from applying. The law also limits the right to only 61 out of the 300 class D felonies which includes theft and possession of illegal drugs.
A “certificate of eligibility” can be acquired from the Kentucky State Police, which actually takes up to six months in order for the department to fully verify the person’s records. Once eligibility is confirmed, additional paperwork must be filed in the court of the conviction. If there are no objections from the prosecutor, then the expungement of the record can proceed without a hearing.