Many people who have criminal records aren’t sure what to do about them, but they know they don’t want them hanging over their heads forever. Fortunately, for many people, expungement is an option. This guide explains why you may benefit from hiring an attorney to help you with criminal record expungement in Indiana.
Benefits of Hiring an Attorney to Expunge Your Criminal Record in Indiana
In the state of Indiana, expungement can be a complicated process. However, it can offer you a fresh start and open up new opportunities for you. Although your lawyer can’t guarantee a specific outcome, hiring an expungement attorney may help make the process easier for you. This guide covers:
- The benefits of working with an attorney for expungement in Indiana
- Eligibility for expungement
- Gathering your records
- Filing your petition
- The expungement process
- Post-expungement opportunities
Here’s a closer look at each.
Benefits of Working with an Attorney
It’s no secret that the legal system can be very complicated, and for many people, it’s overwhelming. That’s especially true when it comes to expunging a criminal record, which isn’t something most people do every day. For that reason, many people choose to work with an attorney. Expungement attorneys do fill out expungement petitions and represent people in the legal system every day, which means they may be better equipped to handle your expungement petition. Your attorney can help you understand the eligibility criteria, gather necessary documentation, complete all your paperwork accurately and represent you in court if necessary. An attorney’s familiarity with the expungement process can save you time, effort and unnecessary stress.
Eligibility for Expungement
To determine whether you’re eligible for expungement in Indiana, several factors come into play. The type of offense, the severity of the offense, the time that’s passed since the conviction and your overall criminal history all play a role in your eligibility for criminal record expungement. The best way to find out whether your record is eligible for expungement is to talk to an attorney who understands the law and who can evaluate your circumstances. Your lawyer will guide you through the entire process, ensuring you meet the necessary requirements to pursue expungement.
Gathering Your Records
Before you begin the expungement process, you’ll need to gather all relevant records related to your criminal convictions. That may include court documents, arrest records and other documentation associated with your case. Your attorney can help you identify the records you need and even, in some cases, help you obtain them. You may also need documentation that shows you’ve completed your sentence, or made other improvements in your life, such as high school equivalency certificates, community service paperwork, or other information.
Related: Can you expunge arson in Indiana?
Filing the Petition
Filing an expungement petition is a critical step in the process. Your petition needs to go through the court system, and your attorney can file it in the appropriate place for you. Working with an attorney helps ensure that your petition is accurate, complete and submitted on time, as well. Your attorney will review all the paperwork they’ve completed on your behalf and address potential issues before even filing the petition.
The Expungement Process
The expungement process doesn’t happen overnight period your petition needs to go through the entire court system, and it passes through several hands before it makes it to a judge’s desk. When you file for expungement, the entire process can take several months. Having a lawyer by your side can help ease your mind and ensure the process goes smoothly.
After your record is expunged, you get to move forward with a clean slate. The barriers associated with having a criminal record will no longer exist for you, and you may have improved employment prospects, better housing options, and a chance to rebuild your life. Your attorney can provide you guidance on how to make the most of your fresh start so you can pursue a brighter future.
Frequently Asked Questions on Hiring an Attorney for Expungement
Check out the following frequently asked questions on hiring an attorney for expungement and how it can help you. If you don’t see the answers to your questions here, please let us know and we’ll be happy to get you the answers you need.
Can all criminal records be expunged?
Not all criminal records qualify for expungement in the state of Indiana. Some offenses may need to stay on your criminal record forever. The best way to find out whether your record qualifies for expungement is to get in touch with a qualified Indiana expungement attorney.
Can I expunge more than one conviction?
It’s definitely possible to expunge multiple convictions. However, in the state of Indiana, if you have more than one conviction, you must apply to clear them all within one year of each other period for example, if you have two convictions in different counties, you only have one year from the first petition to file for expungement on the second conviction. It’s in your best interest to handle all of your convictions at one time.
Do You Need to Talk to an Indiana Expungement and Sealing Attorney?
If you’re ready for a fresh start, we may be able to help. Call us at 317-647-5476 or fill out the form below for a free consultation on expungement. We’re here to answer your questions and get you the fresh start you deserve.