Understanding Expungement and Non-Conviction Records

Navigating the legal landscape of expungement in Indiana, especially regarding non-conviction records, can be a crucial step toward a fresh start. This guide is designed to help you understand the nuances of expungement and how it applies to records where you were not convicted. It’s tailored for individuals with criminal records who are seeking clarity and considering hiring a lawyer to assist in the process.

Understanding Expungement and Non-Conviction Records

In this guide, you’ll learn about:

  • The basics of expungement in Indiana
  • Expungement eligibility for non-conviction records
  • The impact of expungement on your life
  • The process of applying for expungement

Here’s a closer look at each.

The Basics of Expungement in Indiana

Expungement in Indiana refers to the legal process of erasing or sealing your criminal record from public view. It’s a chance to remove the stigma and barriers associated with a criminal record. Understanding the basic principles of expungement, including what types of records can be expunged and the benefits of doing so, is the first step in this journey.

Related: Do all crimes qualify for expungement in Indiana?

Expungement Eligibility for Non-Conviction Records

In Indiana, expungement eligibility extends beyond just conviction records. Non-conviction records, such as arrests that did not lead to a conviction or cases that were dismissed, are also eligible for expungement. This is crucial because these records, even without a conviction, can negatively impact your life. They might show up in background checks, potentially affecting your employment, housing, and other opportunities.

To be eligible for expunging non-conviction records, certain conditions must be met. Typically, a set period must have passed since the arrest or charge. This period varies depending on the specifics of the case but usually ranges from one to a few years. Additionally, you must not have pending charges or additional convictions during this period. It’s important to check the specific requirements as outlined in Indiana’s expungement laws to understand your eligibility fully.

The Impact of Expungement on Your Life

Expunging your criminal record, including non-conviction records, can significantly improve various aspects of your life. Here are some of the key areas where expungement can make a difference:

  1. Employment Opportunities: Many employers conduct background checks, and a clean record can increase your chances of getting hired. Expungement can remove barriers that previously prevented you from securing certain jobs, leading to better employment prospects and potentially higher income.
  2. Housing Opportunities: Landlords often run background checks on potential tenants. An expunged record can improve your chances of securing a lease, as it removes any arrests or charges that could have been viewed unfavorably by landlords.
  3. Educational Opportunities: If you’re applying for college or university programs, especially those that require background checks (like law or medicine), expungement can help clear your path to admission.
  4. Personal and Social Life: Beyond tangible benefits, expungement can also provide peace of mind and reduce the stigma associated with a criminal record. It can improve your personal relationships and social interactions, as you no longer have to carry the burden of a past record.

The Process of Applying for Expungement

Applying for expungement in Indiana involves several key steps:

  1. Determine Your Eligibility: Review the specific criteria for expungement in Indiana to ensure you qualify. This includes understanding the type of record you have and the time that must elapse before applying.
  2. Gather Necessary Documentation: Collect all relevant documents related to your case, including court records, arrest records, and any other legal documents. These will be needed to complete your expungement application accurately.
  3. Work With an Attorney to Complete the Expungement Application: Your attorney can help you complete and file your expungement petition.
  4. Attend a Hearing (If Required): Some expungement applications may require a court hearing. If so, you will need to present your case and explain why your record should be expunged. This is your opportunity to demonstrate how you’ve changed and why a clean record is justified.
  5. Wait for the Court’s Decision: After completing all the steps, the court will review your application and make a decision. This process can take several months, depending on the court’s schedule and the complexity of your case.

FAQ About Understanding Expungement and Non-Conviction Records

Check out these commonly asked questions about understanding expungement and non-conviction records. If you don’t see the answers here, please call our office and we’ll provide the information you need.

What Types of Records Can Be Expunged in Indiana?

In Indiana, various types of records, including misdemeanors, certain felonies, and non-conviction records like arrests and dismissed charges, can be expunged under specific conditions.

Related: How can clearing your record give you a fresh start?

How Long Does the Expungement Process Take?

The expungement process in Indiana can vary in length, typically taking several months. The exact timeline depends on the complexity of your case and the court’s schedule.

Will Expungement Remove My Record from All Background Checks?

Expungement generally removes your record from most public background checks. However, in certain situations, like applying for some government jobs, your expunged record may still be accessible.

Can I Expunge Multiple Records in Indiana?

Indiana law allows for the expungement of multiple records under certain conditions. It’s important to understand these conditions to determine how many and which of your records can be expunged.

Related: Your criminal record and getting a job in Indiana

What Happens If My Expungement Application Is Denied?

If your expungement application is denied, you may have options such as appealing the decision or reapplying after a certain period. Understanding the reasons for denial is key to addressing any issues in future applications.

Expungement offers a path to clear your record and embrace new opportunities. This guide aims to provide you with the knowledge and understanding necessary to navigate the expungement process, especially concerning non-conviction records. Remember, taking this step can be transformative, not just for you but for your future.


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.