Criminal Record Expungement in Indiana
The sheer existence of a criminal record can complicate important, everyday tasks such as finding a job, obtaining housing or loans; or even, purchasing or carrying a firearm. Thankfully, however, Hoosiers may petition for criminal record expungement in Indiana. If granted, this process would seal their criminal records and allow them to begin a new chapter in their life.
While expungement can be a godsend, the process for expunging your criminal record is rather complicated. This is especially true if you’re hoping to expunge multiple records in different counties or petitioning for felony expungement in Indiana. Therefore, it’s recommended that you always speak with an Indiana expungement attorney prior to beginning an expungement petition. This will ensure that all of your criminal records are being accounted for, and the petition(s) are being drafted and filed in a manner that is compliant with Indiana’s second chance law.
If you’d like to begin exploring the possibility of criminal record expungement in Indiana, do not hesitate to contact the expungement team at Keffer Hirschauer LLP. As one of the leading expungement firms in the state, we employ an entire team dedicated to helping guide our clients through the Indiana expungement process in a precise, but timely manner. Plus, we offer a money-back guarantee on qualifying expungement services—a win-win for those clients!
Can Criminal Records Be Expunged in Indiana?
Yes, the expungement laws in Indiana allow for the expungement or sealing of arrests that did not result in a conviction. In addition, misdemeanor and Indiana felony expungement is available for convictions that are at least eight years old, certain misdemeanor convictions that are at least five years old, and more. It is important to note however that, unless the record is related to an arrest that didn’t result in a conviction, criminal record expungement in Indiana is a one-time deal. This means it’s very important that you consult with an experienced expungement attorney in Indiana prior to filing any expungement petitions. This will ensure that your petition(s) are covering as much of your criminal record as possible, and that you’re not blowing your one chance at expungement due to a small, technical mistake.
Expungement Eligibility in Indiana
While criminal records can be expunged in Indiana, the person requesting expungement must be eligible to do so. For example, if you’d like to expunge an arrest or charge that didn’t result in a conviction or a conviction that was overturned on appeal, you will be eligible for expungement if:
- You’re not actively participating in a pretrial diversion program
- It’s been one or more years from the date of your arrest
- You’ve had no convictions in the year prior to seeking expungement
- You have no current pending criminal charges
- You have successfully completed all diversion program requirements
In order to expunge criminal records related to misdemeanor and felony convictions, you’ll need to first satisfy the expungement waiting period requirement, as well as any of the statutory conditions required for Indiana expungement under Indiana Code 35-38-9. These waiting periods and conditions vary drastically, depending on the seriousness of the conviction. For example, to expunge a misdemeanor conviction, you’ll need to wait five years following the date of your conviction. However, to expunge an eligible major felony you’ll need to wait eight or more years following your conviction date or three years from completion of your sentence, whichever is later. In addition, if you’d like to expunge an eligible serious felony, you’ll need to have prosecutor approval, a condition that only applies to the highest conviction levels.
It’s important to note that criminal record expungement in Indiana is not available for certain convictions, under any circumstances. This includes convictions that result in a person being classified as a sex or violent offender under Indiana Code 11-8-8-5, convictions of official misconduct under Indiana Code 35-44.1-1-1, or any convictions of homicide or manslaughter, voluntary or involuntary. Furthermore, conviction records relating to convictions of two or more offenses that involve the use of a deadly weapon that were not committed as part of the same episode of criminal conduct are not eligible for expungement in Indiana.
How Do I Get My Criminal Record Expunged in Indiana?
In order to obtain a criminal record expungement in Indiana, you’ll need to file a petition or formal written request in the court that entered the judgment of conviction or the county of the arrest or charge. The Indiana expungement law, specifically Indiana Code 35-38-9-1, lists various elements that must be included in your expungement petition. However, these elements differ based on the type of criminal record that you hope to have sealed. Furthermore, the petition requesting expungement must be completed and filed in compliance with the Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure and served on the county prosecutor.
Once the court is in possession of the filed petition, they will review it and make a determination as to which next step is most appropriate. In some cases, the court will grant the expungement request, while in other cases they may choose to call a hearing. Most often, hearings are called as a matter of court culture or because the Court would like to speak with the petitioner in order to see if they have truly changed their life for the better and are deserving of expungement. Ultimately, if the court approves your petition, it will issue an order directing that the criminal records identified in your petition be sealed or, in some situations, marked “expunged.”
Can I Expunge More Than One Criminal Record in Indiana?
Yes, although you may only seek expungement once during your lifetime, you can expunge more than one criminal record in Indiana. However, you must list each and every criminal record that you’d like expunged in your petition. Furthermore, if you’d like to expunge records in various counties, you will need to file a petition for expungement in each individual county. These petitions must all be filed within a one-year period, and all expungement petitions for a single county must be filed together.
If I’m Granted a Criminal Record Expungement in Indiana, Will My Record Still Be Visible on Background Checks?
Under most circumstances, if you’re granted a criminal record expungement in Indiana, those records must be permanently sealed. However, expunged records will still be visible on background checks run by criminal justice agencies, like law enforcement, prosecutor offices, and courts; and if you commit another criminal offense in the future, your expunged criminal records may be unsealed.
In addition, background check companies are not subject to the expungement laws. This means prospective employers, landlords, lending agents, professional licensing authorities, and educational institutions may be able to still see some elements of your past court records/criminal history. However, legally, those records are expunged, and you may tell the employer that those records are no longer a part of your criminal history.
It’s also important to note that, per Indiana Code 35-38-9-7, expungements of serious and less serious felony convictions will be clearly and visibly marked “expunged.” This means that these records will still be visible via background check, but you are no longer required to report that they are a current element on your criminal record.
Do I Need an Attorney to Obtain a Criminal Record Expungement in Indiana?
One common question about expungement is “can a lawyer expunge my record or should I go the DIY route?” That decision is completely up to you. However, expungement is a tedious and complex legal process, and in Indiana, can only be requested once in a person’s lifetime. Given this, enlisting the services of an Indiana expungement attorney is often the best way to ensure that your petition(s) are compliant and appropriately filed.
If you’re currently Googling around for “lawyers near me that do expungement,” look no further than Keffer Hirschauer LLP. Although we’re based in central Indiana, we have attorneys that do expungements all over the Hoosier state. Our expungements team has vast experience petitioning Courts for expungement, and can assist you in confirming your eligibility, gathering case records and court documents, researching your criminal history, and preparing your petition. If needed, we’re available also to represent you in court, and once granted, will distribute notice of your expungement to all relevant state agencies.
Looking for “Expungement Lawyers Near Me?”
If you’ve been googling “Expungement lawyers near me,” the Indianapolis law firm of Keffer Hirschauer LLP stands ready to help you work towards turning the page and beginning the next chapter in your life. We understand all too well just how heavy the weight of a criminal record in Indiana can be and take pride in helping Hoosiers move forward with their lives. To determine your eligibility for criminal record expungement in Indiana, contact a member of our team today by calling 317-751-7186 or scheduling a free consultation using our online contact form. Our expungement attorneys in Indianapolis can answer any questions you have about record sealing and will work tirelessly towards a favorable resolution to your case.