Opening the Doors of Opportunity: Expungement of Kansas Criminal Conviction
The prospect of a criminal conviction can be a scary proposition because it may mean incarceration in jail or state prison, damage to your reputation, substantial fines and litigation costs, participation in mandatory counseling or education programs, and other penalties associated with your sentence. Unfortunately, this is only part of the story. While the notion that a person who has “done their time” deserves a second chance is deeply rooted in our culture and values, it is not necessarily in step with what happens in the real world if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony in Olathe or anywhere else in Kansas.
Many times the sentence imposed by a criminal court judges pales in comparison to the informal long-term consequences of suffering a criminal conviction in Kansas. A criminal conviction whether a misdemeanor or felony is a matter of public record that can easily be obtained by future employers, landlords, financial institutions, occupational licensing boards and others. This means that a felony or misdemeanor conviction on your criminal record can prevent you from pursuing your career goals, obtaining loans or credit, and even limit where you can live. The key is that a conviction on your criminal record can haunt you forever and have a substantial impact on your future.
Fortunately, Kansas law provides a process for expungement of a criminal conviction for misdemeanors and some felonies that can alleviate many of the harsh consequences that may result from having a criminal conviction. Kansas law allows you to clear (expunge or seal) many types of criminal convictions from your criminal record and also clear (expunge or seal) arrests where the charges were dropped or dismissed, or in instances when you were found not guilty at trial. Criminal convictions or arrests will not show up when an employer or others conduct a background check once they are expunged. Additionally, Kansas law permits you to answer “no’ when you are asked if you have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime when applying for a job or admission into a college or vocational school.
An expungement does not exactly “erase” the record of your criminal conviction. The conviction remains available to law enforcement and prosecutors so that prior convictions can be used to enhance your penalty if you are convicted for a subsequent offense. There are also certain governmental agencies or professional licensing organizations that may be able to obtain information about your conviction. If your desired occupation has state imposed occupational licensing requirements or professional licensing, your criminal conviction may still disqualify you even after an expungement.
Kansas law permits most misdemeanor arrests and convictions to be expunged and many though not all felonies. Many misdemeanors may be expunged (3) years after you have completed all of the terms of your sentence whereas some felonies require you to wait five (5) years after completion of your sentence. Serious felonies, such as murder, rape, child abuse and sex crimes cannot be expunged.
The best way to determine if your Kansas criminal conviction qualifies for expungement is to call experienced Olathe criminal defense attorney Jackie Rokusek who has been successfully protecting those accused of serious crimes from the harsh consequences of a criminal conviction for more than 18 years. Jackie Rokusek understands the challenges that those denied employment opportunities, financial aid, college admission, and loans face – all because they are laboring under the shackles of a criminal conviction. Jackie Rokusek also understands that bad things happen to good people and that we all make mistakes from time to time. The Rokusek Law Office, LLC is dedicated to ensuring that a mistake committed many years ago does not continue to adversely impact your life long after you have fully served your sentence.
A person may qualify for expungement for a conviction after the required time has passed if they have successfully completed all terms of their sentence, including paying any fines or restitution, performing community service, and attending required alcohol or domestic violence classes. Eligibility also requires that you abstain from committing any further crimes while serving your sentence. Olathe criminal defense attorney Jackie Rokusek can prepare your documents and appear at your expungement hearing. It is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney present at the hearing because victims and law enforcement representatives will receive notice and have a chance to provide evidence at your expungement hearing. With an experienced prosecutor, crime victims and police officers aligned against you, it is essential you have an experienced Kansas crime expungement lawyer on your side. Jackie Rokusek has handled many trials during her 18 years handling criminal cases so she brings the experience you need. We offer a free consultation that is absolutely confidential so call us today or contact us online.