Expunging your record can be a huge deal — and you may not know where to start. This guide explains everything you need to know about expunging your criminal record, giving you the low-down on the steps you must take, how to get in touch with an attorney, and where you need to file your paperwork.
The Basics of Indiana Expungement Law: A Beginner’s Guide
This guide is designed to give you a straightforward overview of the Indiana expungement law. Here’s what you’ll discover:
- Checking your eligibility for expungement
- Gathering the necessary records
- Filing the appropriate paperwork
- Waiting and understanding the court’s decision
- What happens after the court’s approval
Here’s a closer look at each.
Checking Your Eligibility for Expungement
The first thing you’ll want to do is determine if you’re eligible. Not all criminal records can be expunged. Factors like the severity of the crime, time since the conviction, and your subsequent behavior all play a role. An attorney can help assess your individual situation and guide you on whether you can move forward.
Gathering the Necessary Records
Before you can file any petitions, you need your criminal records. These documents give a detailed account of your history and are essential for the expungement process. You can obtain them from the police department or the court where you were convicted. Your expungement attorney can obtain them for you so you don’t have to worry about this step.
Filing the Appropriate Paperwork
After gathering your records, your lawyer will file an expungement petition. This is a formal request to have your criminal record cleared. It’s crucial to file this paperwork in the county where the charges were originally filed. Your attorney will be precise and thorough; even a small oversight can delay the process.
Waiting and Understanding the Court’s Decision
Patience is key here. After you file, the court reviews your petition. They might ask for more details or even schedule a hearing. Stay informed, and be ready to provide any additional information.
What Happens After the Court’s Approval
If the court gives a green light, congratulations! Your records will be expunged. This means they won’t show up in standard background checks, offering you a fresh start.
FAQ About Indiana Expungement Law
Here are some frequently asked questions about Indiana expungement law. If you don’t see the answers you’re looking for here, please call our office. We’re here to help.
How Long Does the Expungement Process Take in Indiana?
The duration can vary. It largely depends on the complexity of your record and the court’s backlog. Typically, it might take several months.
Is There a Cost Associated with Expungement?
Yes, there is usually a fee to file the expungement petition. The cost can vary based on the county and the specifics of your record.
What If My Expungement Petition Is Denied?
If denied, it’s essential to understand the reason. In some cases, you might be able to address the issue and refile.
Can All Crimes Be Expunged?
No, certain serious offenses, like sex crimes, might not be eligible. It’s crucial to check the specifics of Indiana law or consult with an attorney.
Do I Need an Attorney for This Process?
While it’s not mandatory, having an attorney can help ensure your paperwork is accurate and help you get the best possible outcome. Plus, a lawyer will do all the work; you won’t have to dig around for paperwork, figure out how and where to file, or try to keep tabs on your own expungement case.
With a clearer understanding of Indiana’s expungement process, you’re better prepared to take the steps to reclaim your life. While it’s a process that requires patience and diligence, the potential rewards—a cleaner record and more open opportunities—are well worth the effort.
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.