Criminal Record Expungements in Indiana

If a momentary lack of judgement or just a simple mistake has left you with a criminal record and in need of a criminal lawyer in the state of Indiana, you should consider seeking an expungement. A full expungement actually erases your criminal record. Full expungements are only possible if you were arrested but never convicted of a crime. Clearing your name allows you to move past your mistakes and start living your life again.  An experienced expungement attorney can surely answer any questions you might have about this topic, but here’s an overview of what you need to know before seeking an expungement in Indiana.

Benefits of Expungement

Without an expungement, there are several situations in your life that can present a challenge, such as:

  • The stigma of a criminal conviction. Having your record cleared gives you freedom from the stigma associated with a criminal conviction.
  • Loss of financial aid. If you are currently a student, an expungement would let you keep financial aid or scholarships that you would most likely lose with a felony conviction on your record.
  • Problems with job applications. When applying for a job with an expungement, you do not have to disclose having a criminal record, and professional licensing would be easier to obtain and hold.
  • Issues involving background checks. You can avoid problems and embarrassments involved in the criminal background check process.
  • Potential loss of Second Amendment rights. Most convicted felons have their Second Amendment right to own firearms revoked. With an expungement, you would retain the right to bear arms.

Restricted Access Expungements

With a restricted access expungement, your criminal record isn’t erased, but only certain agencies like child service organizations or the authorities can access your criminal record. You qualify for a restricted access expungement if you were arrested but weren’t charged within 30 days of your arrest, or charged but later acquitted of all charges.

Expungements with a Conviction

There are a specific situations where you can qualify for a restricted access expungement even if you were charged with and convicted of a crime.

  • Misdemeanor charges. You could qualify if you have already completed your sentence and your date of conviction was at least five years ago.
  • Class D felony convictions without bodily injury. You could qualify if you served your sentence, and eight years have passed since your conviction.
  • Class A, B, or C felony convictions without bodily injury. Qualification is usually met if you’ve served your sentence, and either eight years have passed since your conviction, or three years have passed since your sentence was completed, whichever is longer.
  • Felony convictions with bodily injury. Expungement is far more difficult in Indiana when your conviction involves a personal injury claim. Before petitioning for expungement, you must wait ten years after your conviction, and at least five years must have passed since you completed serving your sentence.

The Steps of the Expungement Process

  • Begin by contacting an expungement attorney who will file an expungement petition on your behalf.
  • Typically within 30 days, your attorney will provide a copy of your petition to the prosecutor.
  • If there was a victim, or victims involved (especially if they were injured and have retained a personal injury attorney), they will be informed of your petition for expungement. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to file a complaint to the judge.
  • If your petition establishes that, by a preponderance of evidence, you are deserving of relief (and the judge determines that a victim’s complaint doesn’t affect the case), you may be expunged of your crime.
We all make mistakes, but for some, their mistakes have lasting legal ramifications. The expungement process may seem daunting, but if you believe that you qualify for an expungement, contact a qualified attorney and begin the process of clearing your record and your name.

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