If you’re like tens of thousands of Indiana residents, you have a criminal record that’s eligible for expungement – but in order to clear your record, you need to take action. This guide explains.
The Complete Indiana Expungement Guide
Expungement is a process that allows you to clear your criminal record. In Indiana, this process is available for many types of offenses, including misdemeanors and felonies.
If you’re eligible for expungement, it’s important to take action and clear your record. Here’s why:
- A criminal record can make it difficult to get a job, housing, or loans.
- Even if your offense is minor, a criminal record can follow you for the rest of your life.
- Expunging your record can give you a fresh start.
If you’re eligible for expungement, the process is simple and straightforward.
What Offenses Can You Expunge in Indiana?
In Indiana, you can usually expunge the following types of offenses:
- Class D felonies
- Class C felonies (in some cases)
- Level 1 through Level 6 felonies (in some cases)
- Pretrial diversion records
- Unrelated traffic offenses
- Some juvenile offenses
What Offenses Are Off the Table?
Not all offenses are eligible for expungement in Indiana. The following types of offenses cannot be expunged:
- Attempted murder
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Battery resulting in serious bodily injury (as a Class A, B or C felony)
- Child molesting (as a Class A, B or C felony)
- Robbery (as a Class A, B or C felony)
- Arson (as a Class A, B or C felony)
- Kidnapping (as a Class A or B felony)
- Rape (as a Class A or B felony)
- Criminal deviate conduct (as a Class A or B felony)
- Criminal confinement (as a Class A or B felony)
- Dealing in or manufacturing schedule I, II, III or IV controlled substances (as a Class A, B or C felony)
- Dealing in methamphetamine (as a Class A, B or C felony)
How Long Do You Have to Wait to Clear Your Criminal Record in Indiana?
The waiting period to expunge your record depends on the offense. For misdemeanors, the waiting period is five years from the date of your conviction or release from incarceration (whichever is later).
For felonies, the waiting period is typically eight years from the date of your conviction or release from incarceration (whichever is later).
Is it True That You May Only Expunge Your Record Once in Indiana?
In Indiana, you can only expunge your record once. That means you have one shot at clearing it all; if you later commit another crime (after you’ve already expunged your record), the state says you’re ineligible to clear it again.
How Long Does the Expungement Process Take?
The expungement process takes approximately four to six months.
Why Work With an Attorney to Clear Your Criminal Record in Indiana?
Many people choose to work with an experienced expungement attorney to ensure that the process goes smoothly. An attorney can help you determine which offenses on your record are for expungement and guide you through the process, answer your questions along the way, and represent you as necessary. Additionally, your attorney can fill out and file the paperwork for you, which can take weeks (or longer) to do on your own.
Related: Expungement FAQ
3 Reasons To Expunge Your Indiana Criminal Record
Though there are dozens of great reasons to expunge your Indiana criminal record, here are three of the biggest:
- Having a criminal record can make it hard for you to get a job, find a place to live or take out a loan. That’s because the people who guard the gates to these things – employers, landlords and creditors – often run criminal background checks. Many believe that with a criminal record, you can’t be trusted… even if your offense was minor and occurred a long time ago.
- Your criminal record won’t go away on its own. In Indiana, criminal records are public – meaning anyone can access them. So unless you take action to clear your record, it will follow you around for the rest of your life. Hiring an attorney to help you expunge your record is easy – and it’s generally pretty affordable. The process most often takes several months, and all the work happens behind the scenes; you just need to get your petition in front of the right people.
- You get the peace of mind you need, plus a fresh start. In the state of Indiana, nobody’s allowed to discriminate against you for having a criminal record if it’s been expunged. That means you don’t have to worry about your past coming back to haunt you when you’re trying to move on with your life. Having your criminal record expunged gives you the chance to put your past behind you and start fresh. If you’re eligible for expungement, it’s well worth taking the time to clear your name.
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.