Kansas Lawmakers Consider Reducing the Waiting Period to Expunge a DUI

Published: 17 December 2014

Kansas lawmakers have proposed a bill that would reduce the amount of time before you are eligible to expunge a DUI from your criminal record. Currently, Kansas law requires a person to wait 10 years to expunge a DUI arrest or conviction. However, House Bill 2662 would cut that time in half, requiring only a 5 year wait. An overwhelming majority of the House showed support for the change, with 87 members voting in favor of the change compared to 31 who opposed it. The bill now moves on to the Senate for a vote.

Opponents of the change argue that it eases the punishment of DUI offenders. However, as Representative John Carmichael, who introduced House Bill 2662 said, “the expungement of a DUI conviction has absolutely nothing to do with the penalty that is imposed for DUI.” Expungement also has zero effect on any sentence a judge could hand down for crimes resulting from a DUI.

In fact, a petition for expungement can only be filed after a person has finished serving his sentence. For example, if a judge orders probation as a sentence, a person cannot file for expungement until the probation is complete.

Moreover, this change to a 5 year waiting period to expunge a DUI is actually a return to old law. The current 10 year waiting period to expunge a DUI has only been around for a few years, when the Kansas legislature changed it in July of 2011. Before that, from 2006 to 2011, Kansas law would not allow the expungement of a DUI at all. But, from [put in how many years it was that 5 year wait for expungement was law]the waiting period for expungement was 5 years.

Furthermore, a DUI is the only crime in Kansas that specifically requires a 10 year waiting period for expungement. Such a long waiting period is disproportionate compared to the following offenses that have a much shorter waiting period: killing someone with a vehicle (vehicular homicide), beating someone with a deadly weapon such as a baseball bat and causing great bodily harm or disfigurement (aggravated battery), or breaking into a house with the intent to commit a theft or a sexually motivated crime (aggravated burglary).

If you have more questions about the expungement of a DUI or any other crime, the expungement process, or aren’t sure whether you’re even eligible for expungement, call the lawyers of the DUI Defense Team in our Wichita office (316-262-9393), Topeka office (785-234-3272), or Lawrence office (785-856-0143).

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