Indiana law was recently changed to allow people with a previous criminal conviction to petition the courts to have their criminal records expunged. The law allows for many crimes to be expunged (or sealed) so that the record is typically only available to law enforcement agencies and the courts. The requirements that you would need to meet to qualify under Indiana’s expungement law will vary depending on the level of conviction and type of crime. One very important thing to remember is that only one petition can be filed during your lifetime. It is important to know all of the facts and get everything right before moving forward on your expungement.
Arrests without a conviction
If you were arrested and never convicted of a crime then you can petition to have your arrest record sealed. To be eligible, you must wait a period of one (1) year from the date of the arrest and you cannot currently be involved in a pre-trial diversion program.
Misdemeanors and Class D Felonies (or Level 6 Felonies) treated as misdemeanors
Under the current expungement law, all misdemeanors and felonies alternatively sentenced as misdemeanors are eligible for expungement. The waiting period is five (5) years from the date of conviction, but there are some cases in which the prosecuting attorney can agree to a shorter time period. You generally have to show that you have paid all court costs, fines, fees, and restitution. Additionally, you have to show that you have not committed any new offenses in the time period from the date of conviction.
Class D and Level 6 Felonies with no bodily injury
If you were convicted of a Class D Felony (without bodily injury), then you may be eligible for an expungement within a time period of eight (8) years from the date of the conviction. You will also need to show that you ave satisfied all fees, court costs, fines, and restitution orders to be eligible for an expungement, in addition to not having been convicted of any new crime within the same time period.
There are other felonies that are eligible for expungement consideration, but please note that the court will generally have discretion to grant or deny a petition for expungement and are best discussed on a case by case basis. If you are looking for answers about whether you would qualify for an expungement, please contact my office at (574) 387-6529 for your free phone consultation.