Jefferson County Prosecuters Working To Expunge Dismissed Felony Cases

May 6, 2013

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Prosecutors in Jefferson County are seeking to expunge felony cases that have been dismissed.

Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Wine told The Courier-Journal that his focus will be on older cases and "the presumption" will be to expunge if there's not a good reason to leave the charges open.

Prosecutors dismiss most felony cases in Louisville "without prejudice," which means the charges can be reinstated if new evidence is found.

However, Wine said many times that doesn't happen.

If the cases aren't expunged, the arrest shows up in background checks and can make it difficult for a person to get a job.

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell said his office, which handles the majority of dismissed felony cases, will work with Wine to help expunge cases.

The change is significant because prosecutors have generally objected when defendants asked to expunge such dismissed cases.

Jefferson County has thousands of felony cases that have been dismissed without prejudice. Some of them are decades old.