What is a Criminal Record Expungement?
Criminal record expunction is the removal of a criminal conviction from your record. Having a criminal record can prevent you from retaining or obtaining housing in some instances, credit, employment, and even an education.
A criminal conviction on your record, even for an old crime that you’ve already completed the sentence can affect any current and future educational financing options. That’s a reason why taking advantage of the Indiana Second Chance Law and getting your criminal record expunged as soon as possible can your key to a successful future.
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Until recently, if you’d ever been convicted or arrested in Indiana, that criminal interaction would never leave record. Thankfully, Indiana passed its Second Chance Law, which went into effect in July of 2013. That is the Indiana Statute on Expungement. Thanks to Indiana’s Second Chance Law, many misdemeanor and felony convictions and arrests are now eligible for expungement, allowing countless Indianans to put their mistakes behind them and move forward in life.
There are several criteria that must be met in order to be eligible for expungement. There are certain crimes that are prohibited from expungement. Those crimes are as follows:
- Serious weapons charges
- Sexual imposition
- Corruption of a minor
- Sexual battery
- Felonies and first degree misdemeanors in which the victim is under 18 years of age
- Obscenity or pornography involving a minor
- Crimes that were committed which require you to register as a sex offender
- If you have any domestic violence convictions
- You have not been convicted of perjury or official misconduct
Until recently, if you’d ever been convicted or arrested in Indiana, that mistake at one point in time follow you around for the rest of life. In July of 2013 Indiana passed its Second Chance Law, which went addresses those life altering missteps. Thanks to Indiana’s Second Chance Law, many misdemeanor and felony convictions and arrests are now eligible for expungement.
If you expunge a felony, misdemeanor or just your arrest records in Indiana, the many benefits can be very exciting, allowing you a fresh start in life that can help you:
- Obtain a better job
- Access to education
- Student loans
- Professional licenses
- Opens potential business opportunities
- Peace of mind that the general public will no longer be able to easily gain access to your criminal record
Indiana’s expungement laws can be complex. Here is a brief explanation of the Indiana expungement laws, their exceptions and the requirements.
Here is a brief summary of Indiana’s current expungement laws. The goal is to provide you with general information on whether you qualify for an Indiana expungement:
Indiana Arrest Expungement Rules
If you were arrested in Indiana and were not convicted, then the following Indiana arrest expungement rule applies: You may file for an expungement one year after the date of arrest (not the date of dismissal or acquittal).
Indiana Misdemeanor Expungement Rules
Misdemeanor Convictions / Class D Felonies Reduced to Misdemeanors: If you have a misdemeanor on your Indiana record, including Class D felonies which have been reduced to a misdemeanor, you should qualify for expungement if you have satisfied the terms of your sentence and five years have passed since the date of conviction.
Indiana Felony Expungement Rules
Class D Felony Convictions without Bodily Injury: Generally, Indiana Class D Felonies which did not involve bodily injury qualify for expungement if you have satisfied the terms of your sentence and eight years have passed since the date of conviction.
Class A, B, or C Felony Convictions without Bodily Injury: Indiana felonies which are more serious than a Class D Felony, but did not result in bodily injury, generally qualify for expungement if:
- Eight years have elapsed since the date of conviction;
- Three years have elapsed since completion of the terms of your sentence, whichever period is longer.
In addition, there are different standards of proof that apply to more serious felonies, which can make expunging these types of offenses more difficult.
Felony Convictions Causing Bodily Injury: Indiana felony convictions causing bodily injury are much more difficult to expunge. Ten years must have elapsed since the date of conviction, and you must have completed the terms of your conviction at least five years ago. In addition to these requirements, the prosecutor must consent to the expungement, which depending on the circumstances, can be difficult to obtain.
Does Indiana Expungement Restore Gun Rights
You may be wondering if once you gain your Indiana expungement, are your rights to own a gun are restored? The answer is yes, under expungement Indiana gun rights are restored after your criminal record background has been expunged.
Only One Indiana Criminal Expungement Per Lifetime
In addition to the above requirements, except in the cases of arrests not resulting in convictions, you may only obtain one Indiana criminal expungement in your lifetime, however, this rule permits more than one Indiana conviction to be expunged. Specifically, petitions for Expungement filed within the same 365 day period count as one Petition for Expungement for purposes of this rule.
Indiana Pro Se Expungement
Pro se means to represent oneself. While people often do an Indiana Pro Se expungement on their own, Indiana expungement rules can be complicated, so attempting to expunge multiple convictions on your own should not be attempted without the guidance of an experienced Indiana expungement attorney. You only get one chance at this, make sure you get it right.