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Courts Prep For Felony Expungement Rush

Friday House Bill 40 goes into effect in Kentucky, meaning many former felons in will have a chance to expunge certain Class D felony convictions from their records. But officials with the Administrative Office of the Courts are asking for patience as the new system launches.

Credit Josh James / WUKY

"Our switchboards at the front desk have been lighting up all day with members of the public who want to learn more about the expungement process and have interest in seeing if they're eligible," AOC General Counsel Marc Theriault reports.

Theriault recommends those with questions head to courts.ky.gov, where visitors will find a step-by-step process for determining eligibility and applying. He says, because of the volume of paperwork and multiple agencies involved, obtaining an official Certification of Eligibility alone will take several months. 

"Every single expungement includes and hours and hours of manual work, checking records and making sure that the right people are getting their records expunged," he notes. "So we do urge patience during this first phase of implementation." 

Theriault says most of the cases applicants will seek to expunge involve drug possession, criminal mischief, receiving stolen property, and flagrant nonsupport. More serious offenses, such as drug trafficking and sex crimes, are not eligible.

Copyright 2016 WUKY

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now known as Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and Program Director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.