FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 11, 2013) —A bill that passed the Kentucky House by a 78-19 vote today would allow a court to expunge the criminal record of certain low-level felons who have served their time.
House Bill 47, sponsored by House Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee Chair Rep. Darryl Owens, D-Louisville, would only apply to persons convicted of Class D felonies in Kentucky who have no prior felony conviction, no charges pending, and no criminal record other than traffic violations in the past five years. Sex offenders and those convicted of child or elder abuse could not have their records expunged.
If the bill becomes law it would also allow Class D felons whose records are expunged to carry a firearm legally.
“A lot of people have made mistakes,” Owens said when presenting his bill on the House floor.
Among those voting in favor of the bill were Rep. Tim Moore, R-Elizabethtown, a co-sponsor of HB 47 who said he asked to be a cosponsor of the legislation “because I believe in redemption and a second chance.” Allowing eligible Class D felons to petition the court to have their record removed from public view will help them find work post-incarceration, he said.
Expungement already is allowed under Kentucky law for certain misdemeanor convictions arising from a single incident.
HB 47 now goes to the Senate for consideration.