Can You Expunge Your Indiana Criminal Record if You're a Military Veteran

As a military veteran in Indiana, if you’re looking to clear your criminal record, you might have questions about the expungement process. This guide is here to help you, specifically tailored to address your concerns as a veteran.

Can You Expunge Your Indiana Criminal Record if You’re a Military Veteran?

Let’s explore what you need to know:

  • Expungement and sealing differences in Indiana
  • Eligibility for expungement as a veteran
  • Expungement process timeframe
  • Addressing multiple convictions

Here’s a detailed look at each topic.

Expungement and Sealing Differences in Indiana

In Indiana, expungement and sealing of records are terms often used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings. When your record is expunged, your rights are restored and you are treated as if the offense never occurred. However, expunged records may still be visible on public records. Sealed records, on the other hand, are not accessible to the public and can only be viewed under specific circumstances, such as a court order​​.

Eligibility for Expungement as a Veteran

As a veteran, you are eligible for expungement in Indiana under the same criteria as any other resident. This includes expungement of misdemeanors, Class D felonies, and Level 6 felonies. Certain convictions, however, like Class A, B, and C felonies, can be marked as expunged but will remain visible on public records​​​​.

Expungement Process Timeframe

The timeframe for expungement varies depending on the county and the court’s schedule. Generally, it can take anywhere from 30 to 180 days from the time you file your petition until the court approves it. This period allows for the processing of your application and any necessary reviews by the court​​.

Addressing Multiple Convictions

If you have multiple convictions, you can include them all in a single petition for expungement. However, if these convictions are in different counties, you must file separate petitions in each county, and these filings should occur within 365 days of each other​​.

FAQ About Expunging Your Indiana Criminal Record as a Military Veteran

Here are some common questions about expunging your record as a veteran:

If your expungement request in Indiana is denied, it could be for several reasons. Common issues include inaccuracies or mistakes in your application or the court file. For instance, if you provided incorrect information about your charges or sentencing, this could lead to a denial. Another reason could be pending additional criminal charges against you. Also, if you haven’t met the required waiting period since your last conviction or completion of your sentence, your application might be denied. In these cases, you can address and correct the specific issues that led to the denial and reapply for expungement​​.

Are There Crimes That Cannot Be Expunged?

In Indiana, not all crimes are eligible for expungement. Certain serious offenses are excluded from the expungement process. These non-expungeable crimes include human trafficking, any offense that resulted in someone’s death, official misconduct, perjury, sex crimes, and offenses involving the use of a deadly weapon. If your criminal record includes any of these offenses, you won’t be able to have them expunged. This restriction reflects the severity and impact of these crimes, which the state considers too significant to be eligible for expungement​​.

Does Expungement Restore My Gun Rights?

Expungement in Indiana can restore your gun rights, but there is a notable exception. If your conviction involved a misdemeanor or felony related to domestic violence, your right to possess a firearm is not automatically restored through expungement. In such cases, you need to file a separate petition with the court specifically requesting the restoration of your gun rights. This additional step is required due to the nature of domestic violence offenses and the potential risks associated with firearm possession in these contexts​​.

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.