Need a Lake County Expungement Attorney?
Past arrests, charges, and/or convictions can carry their own unique burden; not only do they impact one’s reputation, but they have the potential to create a multitude of unnecessary roadblocks in one’s day-to-day life. They can complicate ordinary things like renting an apartment, securing a loan, gaining employment, or even purchasing a firearm. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. With the help of a Lake County expungement attorney, you may be able to seal your criminal records and move forward with your life, free of any unnecessary hurdles.
Whether you’d like to learn about DUI expungement in Indiana or hope to seal more serious criminal records, the Indiana expungement lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP are available to assist you. We have an entire team dedicated to guiding individuals through the Indiana expungement process in a detailed and timely manner. Furthermore, we offer a money-back guarantee on qualifying expungement services. That’s how confident we are in our expungement team!
The Basics of Expungement in Indiana
Put simply, the expungement laws in Indiana allow for the sealing of arrests that didn’t result in a conviction, misdemeanor convictions at least five years old, certain felony convictions at least eight years old, as well as several other types of records, including protective orders. The biggest benefit of expungement is your criminal records will no longer be available to potential employers, landlords, courts, and licensing organizations, who prior to expungement can all ask questions about your criminal past and/or access your criminal record through a background check or sources such as Indiana’s online case history portal. In addition, if expungement is granted, you would no longer be legally obligated to answer questions about your criminal past. For example, if a potential employer asked, “have you ever been convicted of a felony in Indiana,” you can legally say, “No, I have not.”
Eligibility for Expungement
Expungement eligibility in Indiana is determined by several factors. These include the nature of the criminal record; the level and nature of the offense; the amount of time that’s passed since the arrest, charge or conviction; and any additional characteristics related to the petitioner that may be relevant to the expungement. Given the case-by-case nature of these eligibility factors, it’s best to consult with an experienced Lake County expungement attorney before moving forward with your petition. To speak with one today call 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation with an expungement attorney from Keffer Hirschauer LLP.
Regarding the level and nature of the offenses at hand, it’s important to understand that most arrests and dismissed charges are not automatically expunged. They are eligible for expungement, however. If a person’s arrest or charge didn’t result in a conviction OR the person’s arrest resulted in a conviction that was overturned on appeal, a court is required to grant their request for expungement, if they satisfy the following five factors:
- 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, are required to be granted by courts if the person satisfies the following five factors:
- 5+ years have passed since the date of their conviction
- The person has had no conviction in the 5 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
Anyone who petitions for a Class D / Level 6 felony expungement must have their request granted by the court if at least eight years have passed since their conviction, and they have had no new criminal convictions. Furthermore, the petitioner cannot have any pending criminal charges and must have paid all fees, court costs, fines, restitution orders, and the expungement filing fee.
Major felonies (those classified higher than Class C / Level 5), however, require the petitioner to meet additional conditions to qualify for expungement. However, meeting these requirements does NOT mean that an expungement request will be automatically granted. The decision to grant or deny a major felony expungement request is always up to the court. Furthermore, major and serious felony offense records that have been granted expungement are not sealed, like lower-level felonies, but instead are marked “expunged.”
To qualify for major felony expungement, more than eight years must have passed since the conviction OR more than three years must have passed since the completion of the sentence, whichever is later. The petitioner must also be eight years free from convictions prior to requesting expungement, cannot have any pending criminal charges, and must have completed payment of all fines, fees, court costs, expungement filing fees, and restitution orders.
Given the challenges associated with a major felony expungement petition, working with a skilled Lake County expungement attorney is highly recommended. This will ensure that you’re doing everything in your power to secure the best outcome in your expungement request.
Serious Felony Expungement
Indiana expungement law allows for the expungement of serious felonies, it 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; or a person convicted of two or more offenses involving the use of a deadly weapon that was not committed as part of the same episode of criminal conduct.
Provided that a person’s serious felony conviction is eligible for expungement and they meet the following requirements, the court can choose to decide whether or not to grant their expungement:
- 10+ years have passed since their most recent conviction OR 5+ years have passed from the completion of their sentence, whichever is later
- No convictions in the 10 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
Although there is no guarantee that an expungement for a serious felony will be granted, 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 an entire team of felony expungement lawyers, feel free to call Keffer Hirschauer LLP today at 317-751-7186. Our Lake County expungement attorneys have guided thousands of individuals through this process and are prepared to do everything in their power to help you move forward with your life.
Filing a Petition for Expungement
To have your criminal records expunged, you’ll first have to file a petition or written request in either the court that entered the judgment of conviction or the county of the arrest/charge. This may seem like a simple process, but the requirements set forth in Indiana expungement law are actually quite complex and differ based on which type of criminal record you’d like to have expunged. Furthermore, the petition for expungement has to be compliant with the Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure, filed on time and served on the county prosecutor.
It’s important to understand that there are no limits on how many records you can get expunged. However, expungement is a one-time deal in Indiana. This means that every single record that you would like to have sealed must be listed in your petition. In addition, if you want to expunge records in various counties, you will need to file a petition for expungement in each specific county. These petitions have to all be filed within a one-year period, and all expungement petitions for a single county must be filed together.
After the petition is filed, the court will proceed to review it. In some cases, they will hold a hearing, while in others they may simply just approve the petition. If the court does approve your petition, it will then issue an order directing that the criminal records identified in your petition be sealed.
How a Lake County Expungement Attorney Can Help You
Many Hoosiers wonder “Do you need a lawyer for expungement?” or “Can I get my record expunged without a lawyer?” While that decision is completely up to you, and dependent on your own personal circumstances, choosing to work with a Lake County expungement attorney is often the best decision. The expungement process in Indiana is complex. Therefore, working alongside an experienced attorney can be incredibly beneficial. This is especially true 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 Keffer Hirschauer LLP’s expungement attorneys in Lake County, Indiana. Although our offices are in Indianapolis, we employ attorneys that do expungements all over the state. Our team is vastly experienced when it comes to these types of petitions and routinely assist clients with confirming eligibility, gathering case records and court documents, researching criminal history, and preparing the expungement petition. We also are prepared to represent our clients in court. Finally, if the expungement is granted, we’ll even distribute notice of your expungement to all relevant state agencies.
Ready to Speak with a Lake County Expungement Attorney?
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. The former deputy prosecutors on our legal team fully understand just how troublesome a criminal record can be, especially when it comes to firearms, employment, and housing. That’s why we pride ourselves in helping Hoosiers take back control of their own lives through Indiana expungement.
If you have questions about eligibility, petitioning, or other topics, like Indiana expungement and firearms, contact a member of our team today by calling 317-751-7186 or scheduling a free consultation using our online contact form. If chosen as your legal representation, you can rest assured that our Lake County expungement attorneys will do everything in their power to help provide you with a favorable resolution to your case.