Looking for a Hamilton County Indiana Expungement Lawyer?
Any Hoosier who has a criminal arrest, charge, or conviction on their record knows the tremendous burden that can accompany a criminal past. Even when someone has been cleared of charges or successfully completed their sentence, their past can continue to haunt them in a variety of ways, whether it’s impacting their ability to carry or possess a firearm, or more simply, find adequate employment. However, with the help of a Hamilton County Indiana expungement lawyer, past offenders can now request to have most of their criminal records sealed and, if granted, move forward to begin the next chapter in their life.
If you’re currently experiencing hardship due to a criminal record, the Indiana expungement lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP can help. Whether you’re interested in the possibility of DUI expungement in Indiana, the sealing of Indiana protective order records, or any other type of expungement, our attorneys stand ready to assist you. In fact, our Indianapolis law firm has an entire team dedicated to helping guide individuals like you through the expungement process in a precise, yet timely manner. Plus, we offer a money-back guarantee on qualifying expungement services—a win-win for those clients!
The Importance of Indiana Expungement
When someone has an arrest, charge, or conviction on their Indiana criminal record, it can become difficult to find a job, obtain housing or loans; or simply just improve their life. That’s because anyone with an internet connection can look up criminal records. This includes potential employers, landlords, licensing agencies and loan providers. Furthermore, those convicted of felonies in Indiana often have limited civil rights that impact their ability to run for public office, serve on a jury, vote in elections, and carry or possess a firearm.
Thankfully, for most individuals, being granted an Indiana expungement means that their criminal history will be sealed from viewing by noncriminal justice agents or persons. Per Indiana Code 35-38-9, this includes records of arrests, charges, convictions, and delinquency adjudications, as well as appellate court records, civil forfeiture records, and protective orders. However, it’s important to note that major and serious felony offense records that have been granted expungement are not sealed, like lower-level felonies or misdemeanors. Instead, they are simply marked “expunged.”
In addition to having their records sealed, Hoosiers who have been granted expungement would not have to disclose their criminal history to potential employers, landlords, and licensing organizations. This means that when asked, “Have you ever been convicted of a felony in the state of Indiana,” they can legally answer, “No, I have not.”
Do you have further questions about the benefits of expungement? Not sure if expungement is right for you? Speak with a Hamilton County expungement lawyer today by calling 317-751-7186.
In accordance with Indiana expungement law, a person’s expungement eligibility is determined by several factors. This includes the nature of their record; the level and nature of their offense(s); the amount of time that’s passed since their arrest, charge, or conviction; as well as other additional factors that may be relevant to their unique situation.
In Indiana, courts must grant expungement requests for criminal records detailing an arrest or charge that did not result in a conviction OR a conviction that was overturned on appeal, if the petitioner satisfies the following criteria:
- The person is not actively participating in a pretrial diversion program
- It’s been one or more years from the date of their arrest
- They have had no convictions in the year prior to seeking expungement
- There are no criminal charges currently pending against them
- They have successfully completed all diversion program requirements
In addition, petitions to expunge misdemeanors (or Class D / Level 6 felonies that have been reduced to misdemeanors) must be granted by Indiana courts if the person satisfies the following factors:
- Five or more years have passed since the date of their conviction
- The person has had no conviction in the five years prior to requesting the expungement
- They have no criminal charges currently pending against them
- They have paid all fines, fees, court costs, and restitution orders
- They have paid the expungement filing fee
Felony Expungement in Indiana
Felony expungement in Indiana is a little more complicated. Therefore, many individuals seeking to expunge a major felony conviction often seek the counsel of an experienced Hamilton County Indiana expungement lawyer as they build and file their petition. This ensures that everything is being done in a compliant and timely manner and that the petitioner is in an optimal position to have their petition granted. To speak with a skilled felony expungement lawyer today, call Keffer Hirschauer LLP at 317-751-7186 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
If you’d like to have a Class D / Level 6 felony expunged, eight or more years must have passed since your conviction and, during that time, you cannot have had any new criminal convictions. Furthermore, you cannot have any pending criminal charges and you must have paid all fines, fees, court costs, and restitution orders.
If you’re looking to expungement a major felony, which includes Level 5 felonies and higher, you’ll need to meet higher, additional conditions to be eligible for expungement. Furthermore, at this level of offense, the decision to grant or deny an expungement request is completely up to the court.
To qualify for major felony expungement, eight years must have passed since your conviction OR three or more years since you completed your sentence, whichever is later. You must also be eight years free from convictions prior to requesting expungement and not have any pending criminal charges. Finally, you must have successfully paid all fines, fees, court costs, and restitution orders.
Indiana expungement law also allows for the expungement of serious felonies, which are offenses that resulted in serious bodily injury to another person or were committed by a person while they were currently serving or a candidate for an elected public office. However, certain serious felony convictions are not eligible, including:
- Sex or violent offender per Indiana Code 11-8-8-5
- Official misconduct under Indiana Code 35-44.1-1-1
- Homicide, voluntary manslaughter, or involuntary manslaughter
- A person convicted of two or more offenses involving the use of a deadly weapon that were not committed as part of the same episode of criminal conduct
If your serious felony conviction is eligible for expungement, then you must meet the following requirements for a court to decide on your expungement request:
- Ten or more years have passed since your most recent conviction OR five or more years have passed since you completed your sentence, whichever is later
- You have no convictions in the ten years prior to requesting expungement
- You have no pending criminal charges
- You’ve paid all fines, fees, court costs, and restitution orders
- The prosecutor consents to your expungement
Filing for Expungement with the Help of a Hamilton County Expungement Lawyer
Many people wonder “can a lawyer expunge my record or should I pursue the DIY route?” Well, that decision is completely up to you, but choosing to work with an expungement lawyer is often a wise decision. The expungement process is rather complex, so working alongside a skilled and experienced Indiana expungement attorney is typically beneficial, especially when it comes to meeting the strict deadlines and requirements set forth in Indiana expungement law.
If you’d like to expunge your Indiana criminal records, the first thing you’ll need to do is file a petition in the court that entered the judgment of conviction or the county of the arrest or charge. Indiana expungement law lists the elements that must be included in the petition. However, these elements differ depending on the type of criminal record sought to be expunged (arrest, charge, juvenile adjudication, or conviction). In addition, the petition must be in compliance with the Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure, filed in a timely manner, and served on the county prosecutor.
Once the petition is filed, the court will review it. In some cases, they may elect to hold a hearing, while in other cases they may simply reject or grant the request. If granted, the court will proceed to issue an order directing that the criminal records identified in your petition be sealed.
While this all may seem straightforward, it’s critical that you understand that expungement is a one-time deal in Indiana. This means that every record that you would like to have sealed must be listed in your expungement petition. Furthermore, if you want 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.
Need to Speak with a Hamilton County Indiana Expungement Lawyer?
If you’ve been googling “Expungement lawyers near me,” the Indiana law firm of Keffer Hirschauer LLP stands ready to help you begin the next chapter in your life. We understand just how damaging the weight of a criminal record in Indiana can be and take pride in helping Hoosiers take back control of their own lives. Our team is vastly experienced when it comes to petitioning for expungement, and can assist you in confirming your eligibility, gathering case records and court documents, researching your criminal history, and preparing your petition. We also are prepared to represent you in court, and if successful, distribute notice of your expungement to all relevant state agencies.
To determine your expungement eligibility contact a Hamilton County Indiana expungement lawyer today by calling 317-751-7186 or scheduling a free consultation using our online contact form. Our team can answer any questions you have about record sealing and will do everything in its power to help provide you with a favorable resolution to your case.