Am I Eligible to Have My Criminal Records Expunged?
It’s Possible to Change the Past.We’ve covered what Expungement means and why someone should pursue it. The next question, then, is “How do I know if my criminal history is Expungable?”Well, it depends. There are multiple factors. The first question is whether someone is looking to Expunge a conviction or an arrest, or a charge that didn’t result in a conviction. If the latter, the only consideration is time. If at least one year has passed since the date of arrest or the charges were filed (if there was no arrest), then the arrest or dismissed charge is Expungable. You may then ask, “What crimes can be Expunged?”If someone is seeking to Expunge a criminal conviction (or multiple convictions), then there are four basic criteria: type of conviction, time, money, and previous Expungements.
- Type of conviction—Misdemeanors, Level 6 and Class D felonies, and a lot of other felonies are eligible to be Expunged. Some felonies—like murder, sex crimes and other violent offenses defined in Indiana Code 11-8-8-5, official misconduct, multiple offenses involving a deadly weapon, and others—are not eligible. And felonies involving serious bodily injury require prosecutorial consent to file for Expungement.
- Note: Traffic infractions like speeding tickets are civil infractions, not criminal, and therefore are not Expungable under the Indiana criminal Expungement statute.
- Time—Has enough time passed since the date of conviction or the other triggering date?
- For misdemeanor convictions, five years must pass from date of conviction.
- For Level 6 or Class D felonies, eight years must pass.
- For certain “more serious felonies,” the analysis is more complicated. A Class C felony for possession of a narcotic drug, for example, requires at least eight years from the date of conviction and three years from the date of completion of sentence, whichever is later.
- In some cases, if not enough time has passed, a petitioner may ask for and receive permission from the prosecutor to file an early Expungement.
- Money—All court costs, fines, and fees must be paid in full for a conviction to be Expunged.
- Prior Expungements—A person can only petition to Expunge his or her criminal convictions once in his or her lifetime. If someone has convictions in multiple counties, which requires multiple petitions, these must all be filed within one year of one another.
- Note: Petitions for arrests or charges that don’t result in conviction can be filed multiple times throughout a person’s life.