Your Guide to Indiana Expungement
Those with past arrests, charges and/or convictions know all too well the incredible burden that accompanies a criminal past. Although a person may have been cleared of charges or completed their sentence, their criminal record may continue to present them with a variety of roadblocks affecting their day-to-day life. However, thanks to the Indiana expungement law, they can now request to seal the records related to most arrests, charges, or convictions. If granted, they can now move forward with their life without the added weight of their past mistakes.
In Indiana, there’s no need to let your criminal past hold you back from starting a new chapter in your life. Whether you’re interested in DUI expungement in Indiana, misdemeanor expungement or the sealing of more serious records, the Indiana expungement lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP can help. We have 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!
Why is Indiana Expungement Important?
When you have an arrest, charge, or conviction on your Indiana criminal record, it can become difficult to find a job, obtain housing or loans; purchase or carry a firearm; or simply just improve their life. But thanks to the Indiana expungement law, a criminal record doesn’t have to define you. Through expungement you can seal your criminal record and no longer face discrimination based on your past mistakes.
When someone’s record has been expunged in Indiana, it will not show up in public records databases, and a prospective employer may not ask you about your prior arrest or criminal record. Similarly, if a job application asks you whether you have a criminal record, you no longer need to answer, “yes.” Furthermore, certain rights like the ability to vote and to own/carry a firearm can be restored.
What Records Can Be Expunged?
Expungement laws in Indiana allow for the expungement or sealing of arrests that did not result in a conviction, as well as certain felony convictions at least eight years old, misdemeanor convictions at least five years old, and more.
How Many Records Can You Get Expunged?
Many people find themselves wondering “how many records can you get expunged?” Although expungement is a one-time deal in Indiana, there is no limit to how many Indiana expungement petitions you can file. However, each and every record that you would like to have sealed must be listed in your 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 all must be filed within a one-year period, and all expungement petitions for a single county must be filed together.
The only exception to the expungement limit is in the case of arrests that did not lead to conviction. These are known as Section 1 expungements, and there are no limits to how many times you can file a petition for a Section 1 expungement.
Given the complexities and strict requirements of expungement law, working with an experienced Indiana expungement attorney is vital to ensuring that your request covers as much of criminal history as is eligible, meets the requirements set forth in the Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure, and is filed in an appropriate and timely manner.
Who is Eligible for Indiana Expungement?
Per Indiana law, a person’s expungement eligibility is determined by evaluating several factors including the nature of the record; the level and nature of the offense; the amount of time that’s passed since the arrest, charge or conviction; and any other additional characteristics related to the petitioner that may be relevant.
Contrary to popular belief, most arrests, and dismissed charges are not automatically expunged in Indiana. They are, however, eligible for expungement. If a person’s arrest or charge did not result in a conviction OR the person’s arrest resulted in a conviction that was overturned on appeal; then a court MUST grant their request for expungement, if they satisfy 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, requests for an Indiana expungement related to misdemeanors or Class D / Level 6 felonies that have been reduced to misdemeanors, must be granted by 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
Individuals who petition the court to have a Class D / Level 6 felony expunged must have their request granted if eight or more years have passed since their conviction and, during that time, they have had no new criminal convictions. Furthermore, they cannot have any criminal charges currently pending against them and must have paid all fines, fees, court costs, restitution orders and paid their expungement filing fee.
Major Felony Expungement in Indiana
Major felonies, meaning those classified higher than Class C / Level 5, require a person to meet higher and additional conditions in order to be eligible for an Indiana expungement. However, meeting these requirements does mean that an expungement request will be automatically granted. At this level of offense, the decision to grant or deny an expungement request is completely up to the court. Furthermore, 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.”
To qualify for major felony expungement, eight years must have passed since the person’s conviction OR three or more years have passed since they completed their sentence, which is later. The person must also be eight years free from convictions prior to requesting expungement. Finally, they may not have any current pending criminal charges, have completed payment of all fines, fees, court costs, restitution orders and paid for their expungement filing fee.
Serious Felony Expungement in Indiana
Indiana expungement law also allows for the expungement of serious felonies, which include offenses that resulted in serious bodily injury to another person or were committed by a person while they were serving an elected public office or as a candidate for public office. However, law this does not apply to a handful of offenses, 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 a person’s serious felony offense is eligible for expungement and they meet the following requirements, the court may proceed to decide whether or not to grant their expungement:
- Ten or more years have passed since their most recent conviction OR five or more years have passed from the completion of their sentence, whichever is later
- No convictions in the ten years prior to requesting expungement
- No criminal charges currently pending
- All fines, fees, court costs, and restitution orders has been paid
- Expungement filing fee has been paid
- The prosecutor consents to expungement
While expunging felonies is not always a slam dunk, a skilled felony expungement lawyer will understand everything that needs to be done to put you in the best position possible to have your records sealed. If you’re looking for the best expungement lawyer possible, feel free to call Keffer Hirschauer LLP today at 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. Our team has guided thousands of individuals through the Indiana expungement process and stands ready to do everything in our power to help you move forward with your life.
Can a Lawyer Expunge My Record?
Many people wonder “can a lawyer expunge my record or should I go the DIY route? While that decision is completely up to you, and dependent on your own personal circumstances, choosing to work with an expungement lawyer is always a wise decision. The expungement process in Indiana is rather complex, so working alongside a skilled and experienced attorney can be incredibly beneficial, especially when it comes to meeting the strict deadlines and requirements set forth in Indiana expungement law.
When looking for “lawyers near me that do expungement,” look no further than the Indianapolis law office of Keffer Hirschauer LLP. Although we’re based in central Indiana, we have attorneys that do expungements all over the state. 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.
Looking for an Indiana Expungement Lawyer?
If you’ve been googling “Expungement lawyers near me,” the Indianapolis 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. To determine your eligibility for Indiana expungement, contact a member of our team today by calling 317-857-0160 or scheduling a free consultation using our online contact form. Our Indianapolis attorneys can answer any questions you have about record sealing and will do everything in their power to help provide you with a favorable resolution to your case.