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What is expungement and how is it handled in Kansas?

Your criminal record is something that can haunt you for the rest of your life.There are certain instances in which you can petition to have your record expunged. If you are interested in having a criminal record expunged, you will have to petition the court with jurisdiction over the case.

What does expungement do?

If you do opt to pursue expungement, you must understand that this won't completely remove the information from your file. Some agencies will still be able to access the information, but it generally won't be viewable on criminal background checks done by employers or landlords.

Another thing that expungement won't necessarily do is restore your right to purchase a firearm. You should familiarize yourself with federal and state laws to determine if the expungement would restore this eligibility.

Who decides if expungement is approved?

If you do pursue the expungement, the court will determine if it is a valid request. You can attempt to have arrest records, convictions and diversions expunged. If the request is approved, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation will be the agency that updates the records. This process can take two to four weeks, so expungement isn't a fast process.

Who is notified of the expungement?

Private agencies that provide criminal background check services aren't notified of the expungement. The KBI will notify the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Kansas law enforcement officers involved in the incident and the Kansas Secretary of Corrections.

There are several statutes that impact expungements. Understanding the ones that apply to your case might help you to decide if this is something that you want to pursue.

Source: Kansas Bureau of Investigation, "Expungement Of Criminal History Records," accessed Sep. 13, 2016

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