If you’re like many people in Indiana, you have a criminal record simply because you’ve been arrested in the past. But if you’ve never actually been charged with a crime, should you bother expunging your arrest record? This guide explains the pros and cons of criminal record expungement for arrest records so you can decide whether it’s a route you need to take.
What is Expungement in Indiana?
Expungement is the legal process of permanently clearing a criminal record in Indiana. Although the process isn’t perfect, it can have several benefits. When your criminal record is expunged, in many cases, people can’t see it – and in just about all cases, they can’t use it against you.
How Do You Expunge a Record in Indiana?
To expunge a criminal record in Indiana, you’ll need to file a petition with the court. It can be a complicated process and if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s best to obtain legal counsel. Your attorney can answer your questions along the way, fill out and file the appropriate paperwork for you, and even represent you in the event that a hearing becomes necessary. Additionally, your lawyer will handle all the heavy lifting and keep tabs on your petition as it makes its way through the court system. For most people, getting an attorney is the best choice.
Is it Easy to Expunge an Arrest?
The process of expunging a criminal record can be complicated and time-consuming. However, arrests are generally simpler to expunge than convictions are, especially if you’ve never been charged with a crime. That’s because the people who review your petition know that you weren’t officially charged, and they don’t have to go through mountains of court files to learn about your case or determine how to proceed. That doesn’t mean it’s faster to expunge and arrest record. It just means that it’s simpler to put together the paperwork and get it into the system than it would be if you were trying to clear one or more criminal convictions.
How Many Times Can You Expunge Your Record?
In Indiana, you can only expunge your criminal record once in a lifetime. If you’re going to use your one shot for an arrest, make sure that you’re positive that you won’t get into trouble in the future.
Does It Matter If You’ve Been Arrested? Does Anyone Care?
It depends on who’s looking at your record. Some employers, landlords, or members of the public may still see it and make incorrect assumptions about you – even though you weren’t charged with a crime. However, other people might not care because they can see that no charges were ever filed against you. If you want to take control of your own narrative, expunging an arrest record is a good way to go.
The bottom line is this: If you’ve been arrested and never charged with a crime, expunging your criminal record may be the right course of action for you. Expungement can help protect your reputation and give you peace of mind that all traces of your arrest have been removed from public view.
When Should You Expunge Your Arrest Record?
When it comes to the timing of expungement, the best answer is “sooner rather than later.” The longer you wait, the more time potential employers or landlords have to look at your arrest record and form negative opinions about you.
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.