What You Can Find
A Kentucky criminal record search will return the following:
- County of origin (where the case was filed)
- Case number
- Original charge
- Any amendments to the original charge
- Charge date
- Disposition date
- Any necessary memos as determined by the local circuit court clerk
Each case is classified by type with letters indicating the case type: T is for traffic violations, M is misdemeanors
, F is felonies, and CR refers to criminal cases handled in the circuit court.
Restrictions on Searches
For private employers in Kentucky, the only records that can’t be accessed are those that have been expunged by the court. Otherwise, Kentucky does not restrict private employers’ ability to inquire about and use conviction records in the hiring process. Both conviction and arrest records can be considered in hiring decisions.
For public employers, Kentucky restricts the use of conviction records for employment purposes. A public employer can only base an employment decision solely on a conviction record when the conviction is for a felony or certain kinds of misdemeanors. This includes high misdemeanors, misdemeanors that can warrant jail time, those directly related to the type of employment sought, and those which involve moral turpitude.
Some public employers are restricted in the timing of criminal background searches as well, thanks to an executive order issued in February 2017. While private employers can inquire about criminal history at any point in the hiring process, state-level employers within the executive branch can only conduct a criminal background check once an applicant has been offered an interview for the position. That means state agencies can’t ask applicants to disclose criminal history on the application itself.
A few important things to note: this doesn’t apply to local level public employers, just those at the state level, and the policy only covers the executive branch, although Governor Matt Bevin has encouraged local public employers to pass their own versions of this restriction. So far, none have followed suit, but similar restrictions on the local level may be coming soon.