In the state of Indiana, it’s possible to expunge a theft or conversion conviction from your criminal record – but you have to meet certain requirements first. This guide explains what you need to do to expunge a theft or conversion conviction, how long you need to wait, and why you may want to work with an attorney to do it.
Can You Expunge a Theft Conviction in Indiana?
Expunging a theft conviction is an option for many people, but before you do, you need to know what the term theft encompasses. Indiana Code 35-43-4-2 says, “A person who knowingly or intentionally exerts unauthorized control over property of another person, with intent to deprive the other person of any part of its value or use, commits theft, a Class A misdemeanor.” The state may charge the crime as a Level 6 felony if the property is between $750 and $50,000, or if it’s a firearm. It can also be a Level 6 felony (which you may also expunge) if you were convicted of theft or criminal conversion in the past. Theft becomes a Level 5 felony if the value of the property is greater than $50,000 or meets other criteria (such as relating to transportation or public safety).
Conversion is similar to theft. Indiana Code 35-43-4-3 says, “A person who knowingly or intentionally exerts unauthorized control over property of another person commits criminal conversion, a Class A misdemeanor.” This crime can be a Level 6 felony or a Level 5 felony under certain circumstances.
In either case – theft or conversion – it is possible to expunge your criminal record.
Expungement Qualifications for Theft or Conversion in Indiana
Theft or conversion is often a Class A misdemeanor in Indiana, which means that if you had no prior criminal convictions, the judge in your case may have sent you through a pretrial diversion program. If you successfully completed the program and your charges were dismissed, you can petition the court to expunge your pretrial diversion records.
If you were convicted of theft or conversion as a misdemeanor or as a Class D or Level 6 felony, you must wait 5 years from the date of your conviction before you can file for expungement. You must also have no criminal charges pending against you, and you must have paid all your fines and court costs. Additionally, you must not have been convicted of any other crimes during the 5-year waiting period.
Note: Prior to July 1, 2014, Indiana classified felonies in a different way than it does today. Before that date, felonies were categorized by classes (hence the “Class D felony”). On and after that date, felonies were recategorized into levels (hence the “Level 6 felony”)
If your theft or conversion conviction was classified as a Level 5 through Level 1 felony, you must wait 8 years from the date of your conviction before you can file for expungement. All the other requirements listed above must also be met. Also, the court may use its discretion; a judge doesn’t have to agree to expunge your record.
Can You Reapply for Expungement if the Court Doesn’t Grant It?
If the judge in your case denies your expungement, you may reapply again in three years. In fact, you can reapply every three years for a conviction that wasn’t expunged (though this only applies to felonies at Levels 1 through 5, as well as Class A through Class C felonies that you were convicted of prior to July 1, 2014).
How Long Does it Take to Expunge a Theft or Conversion Charge in Indiana?
Expunging a theft or conversion charge in Indiana can take several months. However, sometimes cases go through a lot faster than that.
Generally, cases take longer when the prosecutor objects. If the prosecutor objects, you and your attorney may gather more evidence – the trial court will set a hearing for at least 60 days after you filed your expungement petition.
You may have to attend a hearing, even if the prosecutor in your case doesn’t object to your expungement. In that case, your Indiana expungement attorney can represent you and explain your case in the best possible light.
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.