Expunging your criminal record in Indiana can provide a fresh start and open doors to new opportunities. However, not everyone is eligible for expungement. This guide will help you understand the specific eligibility criteria and requirements for expunging your criminal record in Indiana.
The Eligibility Criteria for Expunging Your Criminal Record in Indiana
This guide explains the following:
- Types of records eligible for expungement
- Waiting periods for expungement
- Additional eligibility requirements
Here’s a closer look at each.
Types of Records Eligible for Expungement
In Indiana, you can petition to expunge various types of criminal records, including arrests, convictions, and juvenile records. However, not all records can be expunged. Certain crimes, such as sex offenses, murder, and human trafficking, are generally ineligible for expungement. It’s essential to understand the type of record you have and whether it qualifies for expungement under Indiana law.
Waiting Periods for Expungement
Expungement eligibility in Indiana depends on the type of record and the time elapsed since the arrest or conviction. There are different waiting periods for different types of records:
- Arrests not leading to a conviction: One year from the date of the arrest
- Misdemeanors and Class D/Level 6 felonies reduced to a misdemeanor: Five years from the date of conviction
- Class D/Level 6 felonies: Eight years from the date of conviction
- More serious felonies: Ten years from the date of conviction
Keep in mind that these waiting periods may be longer if you have multiple convictions or if your case involves specific circumstances.
Related: FAQ on expungements in Indiana
Additional Eligibility Requirements
Apart from the type of record and waiting period, there are other eligibility criteria you must meet to qualify for expungement in Indiana:
- Complete all terms of your sentence: You must have completed all the requirements of your sentence, including probation, community service, and payment of fines and restitution.
- No pending criminal charges: You cannot have any criminal charges pending against you when you file your expungement petition.
- No subsequent convictions: You must not have any new criminal convictions since the conviction you’re seeking to expunge. Some exceptions apply if the new conviction is a misdemeanor and unrelated to the initial offense.
- Demonstrating rehabilitation: In some cases, you may need to show evidence of rehabilitation, such as completing a drug or alcohol treatment program, obtaining an educational degree, or maintaining steady employment.
Once you determine that you meet the eligibility criteria for expungement, you can begin the process of petitioning for expungement in Indiana. This process involves collecting the necessary documents, such as your criminal history and court records, and filing a petition with the court in the county where your conviction occurred.
It’s important to note that expungement is not guaranteed, and the court has discretion in deciding whether to grant your petition. The court will consider factors such as the nature of the offense, the time elapsed since the conviction, and any evidence of rehabilitation. If your petition is denied, you may have the option to appeal or reapply after a specified waiting period.
Expungement can provide numerous benefits, such as improving your chances of finding employment, securing housing, and regaining certain rights like voting or holding public office. By understanding the eligibility criteria for expungement in Indiana and diligently following the required steps, you can take control of your future and make the most of your second chance.
Keep in mind that seeking legal advice from an experienced attorney can be helpful in navigating the complexities of the expungement process and increasing your chances of success. With the right guidance and determination, you can overcome the challenges of having a criminal record and move forward with your life.
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.