How Much Does an Expungement Cost in Kansas
Having a criminal record can have long-lasting consequences on various aspects of one’s life. It can hinder employment opportunities, limit housing options, and affect personal relationships. However, in certain circumstances, individuals may be eligible for expungement, a legal process that seals or erases their criminal records. If you are considering expungement in the state of Kansas, it is essential to understand the associated costs and requirements. This article will delve into the expenses involved in obtaining an expungement in Kansas and provide answers to frequently asked questions.
Expungement Costs in Kansas
The cost of expungement in Kansas can vary depending on multiple factors, including the severity and number of the charges, the complexity of the case, and whether you choose to hire an attorney. Here are some common expenses associated with the expungement process:
1. Filing Fees: The first cost you will encounter is the filing fee required by the court. In Kansas, the filing fee for expungement petitions is $195. This fee is non-refundable, even if your petition is denied.
2. Attorney Fees: While it is not mandatory to hire an attorney for expungement, it is highly recommended. An experienced attorney can guide you through the process, ensure all necessary documents are properly filed, and increase your chances of success. Attorney fees for expungement cases in Kansas can range from $500 to $2,500, depending on the complexity of the case and the attorney’s experience.
3. Record Retrieval Fees: To support your expungement petition, you will need to obtain certified copies of your criminal records from various agencies, such as the police department and the court. These agencies may charge a fee for record retrieval, which typically ranges from $5 to $20 per document.
4. Expungement Order Fees: After your expungement is granted, you will need to obtain certified copies of the expungement order. These copies are necessary to provide proof of expungement when dealing with potential employers, landlords, or other entities. The cost for obtaining certified copies varies by county but generally ranges from $5 to $10 per copy.
Frequently Asked Questions about Expungement in Kansas
Q: Who is eligible for expungement in Kansas?
A: In Kansas, individuals with certain misdemeanor and felony convictions, as well as some arrests and diversions, may be eligible for expungement. However, eligibility and requirements can vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case.
Q: How long does the expungement process take in Kansas?
A: The expungement process in Kansas can take several months. The timeline depends on factors such as the court’s caseload, the complexity of the case, and whether any objections or disputes arise.
Q: Can I expunge all my prior convictions?
A: No, not all convictions are eligible for expungement in Kansas. Certain serious offenses, such as violent crimes, sex offenses, and DUI convictions, cannot be expunged.
Q: Will expungement completely erase my criminal record?
A: Expungement in Kansas does not completely erase your criminal record. Instead, it seals the record from public view, making it inaccessible to most employers, landlords, and the general public. However, law enforcement agencies, certain government entities, and specific background checks may still have access to the expunged records.
Q: Can I apply for expungement on my own, without an attorney?
A: Yes, you can file for expungement on your own, but it is highly advisable to hire an attorney. An attorney will ensure that all necessary paperwork is correctly filed, navigate any legal complexities, and increase your chances of a successful expungement.
Q: What if my expungement petition is denied?
A: If your expungement petition is denied, you may have the option to appeal the decision or refile the petition after a specified waiting period. Consulting with an attorney can help you determine the best course of action in such situations.
In conclusion, the cost of expungement in Kansas can vary depending on various factors, including filing fees, attorney fees, record retrieval fees, and expungement order fees. It is crucial to consult with an experienced attorney to understand the specific costs associated with your case and to increase your chances of a successful expungement. Expungement can provide a fresh start and open doors to new opportunities, making it a valuable investment for individuals seeking to move forward from their past mistakes.