The Process of Expunging Your Criminal Record in Indiana

If you’re like many people, you know that having a criminal record can make your life harder. However, there is hope, and you may be eligible to clear your criminal record through the process of expungement in Indiana. Although expunging your record isn’t a guarantee, it may be a viable option for you.

The Process of Expunging Your Criminal Record in Indiana

Expunging your criminal record in the state of Indiana involves a few legal steps. This guide explains:

  • Understanding expungement
  • Eligibility for expungement in Indiana
  • Steps in the expungement process
  • Timeframe for expungement

Here’s a closer look at each. 

Understanding Expungement

Expungement is a legal process that can seal your criminal records from public view. In the state of Indiana, an expunged record is hidden from most background checks. For many people, that’s great news, especially if they want a fresh start. Expungement may be a way for you to get your life back on track after a run in with the law.

Related: Can you expunge arson in Indiana?

Eligibility for Expungement in Indiana

Not all criminal offenses qualify for expungement. In the state of Indiana, there are specific eligibility criteria that your criminal record must meet. Generally, the criteria consider the type and severity of the crime, as well as how much time has passed since you committed it. In addition to actual crimes, you can expunge arrests that never led to convictions. That means if you were arrested on suspicion of a crime but you were never charged with that crime, you’re eligible to clear the arrest from your criminal record. You should talk to an attorney, though, whether you’ve been convicted of crimes or simply have an arrest on your record.

Steps in the Expungement Process 

The expungement process can be a bit complex. That’s why many people choose to work with an attorney throughout the process. You’ll need to fill out certain forms, and you may need to appear before a judge. Expungement is a detailed process, so many people choose to work with a lawyer who understands how everything works and who can fill out and file the appropriate paperwork with all the right officials.

Related: Everything you should ask before you hire an attorney for expungement

Timeframe for Expungement

As with many legal processes, the timeline for expungement can vary widely. It’s difficult to predict exactly how long your expungement will take, because every case is different. Generally speaking, you should prepare for the process to take several months. After your attorney files your paperwork for you, you’ll have to wait for the court system to process your petition. Because expungement petitions must pass through several hands before a judge can make a decision, it may take weeks or months before you get an answer.

FAQ on Expunging Your Record in Indiana

Check out these frequently asked questions on expunging your record in the state of Indiana. If you don’t see the answer to your question here, please call our office and ask. We’ll be happy to get you the answers you need.

How Long Do I Have to Wait Before Applying for Expungement?

The waiting period for expungement in the state of Indiana depends on the nature of your crime. In some cases, you must wait five years from the date of your conviction. In other cases, you must wait eight years, and in still other cases, you must wait 10 years. Some crimes cannot be expunged at all. To find out how long you have to wait in your particular situation, it’s in your best interest to speak to an attorney. 

Related: Juvenile records and expungement in Indiana

Are All Crimes Eligible for Expungement?

Not all crimes are eligible for expungement in the state of Indiana. Certain offenses are typically not considered, such as those involving violence and sexual misconduct. To find out whether your criminal record is eligible for expungement, it’s a good idea to get in touch with an attorney who can give you the guidance you need.

Can I Handle the Expungement Process On My Own?

Expungement is a complicated process, and it requires you to file certain paperwork with certain officials in the right locations. Because it can be a confusing process, many people choose to work with an expungement attorney who understands the entire process and can represent them should they need to appear in court.

Related: 5 ways expunging your record can improve your life

Can Anyone Still See My Expunged Record?

People still may be able to see your criminal record after it’s been expunged, but if your record is still available in background checks, it will be marked as expunged. When a record is marked as expunged, people are not allowed to hold it against you when making decisions about things like employment.

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.