If you’re like many people, you wonder how long it takes to expunge a criminal record in the state of Indiana. This guide explains.
How Long Does it Take to Expunge Your Record in Indiana?
In the state of Indiana, you must wait to expunge your criminal record. Your waiting period depends on several factors, as well as how long it takes you to compile your petition. Many people choose to work with an attorney to smooth out their process and help things move along faster, primarily because attorneys know exactly what documentation you need and when and where to submit it. This guide covers:
- Understanding the waiting period
- Collecting necessary documents
- Preparing and filing a petition
- Waiting for the court’s decision
- What happens after expungement
Here’s a closer look at each.
Understanding the Waiting Period
In the state of Indiana, the waiting period to file for expungement varies depending on the type of conviction on your record. In some cases, you need to wait five or eight years before you can petition the court to clear your record. In other, rarer cases, you need to wait 10 years period however, some records, such as arrests that never led to convictions, can be expunged much sooner. The best way to find out how long you have to wait to expunge your criminal record is to speak to an attorney who understands the law and how it applies in your situation.
Collecting Necessary Documents
In order to petition the court for expungement, you need to gather several documents for the application. The documents you need to gather may include court records, a complete criminal history workup, and records of completed sentences or rehabilitation programs. For example, if you completed anger management classes, earned a high school equivalency certificate, or performed community service, you may need to bring receipts for those activities. Things like these can help show why you deserve a fresh start. Gathering these documents can take a significant amount of time, so it’s best to start hunting around as soon as you begin to consider expungement as an option.
Preparing and Filing a Petition
After you gather all your necessary documents, you’ll need to give them to your attorney so they can file them with your petition. The petition can be complicated in itself, so many people choose to work with a lawyer who understands the process and what’s required for a successful application. Additionally, legal language can be tricky for many people, and getting it right is essential. That’s why many people choose to hire an attorney for expungement in Indiana.
Related: Can you expunge arson in Indiana?
Waiting for the Court’s Decision
After you file your expungement petition, the court must review your case. Your petition passes through several hands before it reaches a judge’s desk; the judge is the ultimate authority in deciding whether you get a fresh start. You have to wait for your petition to work its way through the system, which can take months, depending on the courts schedule and the complexity of your case.
What Happens After Expungement
After expungement, your record may be hidden from public view. In some cases, it’s simply marked as expunged. It may take time for the agencies that have your record to clear it, so the results may not be immediate.
FAQ on Expungement and How Long It Takes
Check out these frequently asked questions on expungement and how long it takes. If you don’t see the answer to your question listed here, please call our office so we can help you.
Can I speed up the expungement process?
Although you cannot speed up the amount of time it takes the court system to work your petition from start to finish, you can gather your documents quickly and ensure that you’re prepared when you’re returning needs something from you. The faster you can provide your documents, the sooner your attorney can file your petition for you.
What if my expungement petition is denied?
If your expungement petition is denied, your attorney can help you determine the best next steps.
Does an expungement mean that I was never convicted of a crime?
No, expungement doesn’t mean that you were never convicted of a crime. However, it may seal the records from public view or it may be marked as expunged, which means people can’t hold it against you in making decisions such as those related to employment or tenancy.
Will expungement clear my record immediately?
Expungement isn’t an immediate process. It can take several months for your expungement petition to make its way through the court system. Then, it can take a few more months for the agencies that have your record to mark it expunged or clear it from their systems.
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.