Can You Expunge a Felony Conviction in Indiana?
Posted on Wednesday, December 9th, 2020 at 5:40 pm
A felony conviction is one of the worst things to have on your record. Felony convictions on your record can make it hard to find a job. They can affect your eligibility for government programs. They can even affect constitutional rights like your right to carry a firearm. So, is there any way to get a felony conviction off your record in Indiana?
There is, in many situations, and if you have a felony conviction that is having a negative impact on your life, you should talk to an Indiana Expungement attorney today and see what your options are. You can reach out to us at T Criminal Defense Team to speak to one of our felony Expungement lawyers today.
How Can A Felony Be Expunged in Indiana?
There are basically two ways to get a felony expunged:
- The Indiana Expungement statute allows for certain crimes to be expunged after set periods of time.
- Certain convictions require prosecutor approval and a set time period to pass. Please note, the time periods required to wait may be waived with prosecutorial consent, so you may be able to get started on expunging your record before the waiting periods are up.
We’ll start with the first route, Expungements allowed for by statute without prosecutor approval.
The Expungement statute, Indiana Code 35-38-9 contains all of the information we’ll be discussing, but it can be a bit confusing, which is why it is good to consult with an Expungement lawyer. It’s also important to note that for all Expungements, misdemeanor or felony, you must have no charges currently pending against you, and you must have satisfied all of your financial obligations from the case, including court costs, fines, and restitution.
To begin with, there are some types of felonies that can never be expunged, such as:
- Sexual or violent crimes
- Having two or more felony convictions involving a deadly weapon
- Official misconduct
- A felony that resulted in death to another
How Long Do I Have to Wait to Try and Get a Felony Expungement?
If the felony conviction is not on that list, then it likely is eligible for Expungement at some point, and the question then becomes how long you have to wait and stay out of trouble. To begin with, Class D felonies or Level 6 felonies that have been reduced to misdemeanors are treated like misdemeanors and are eligible for Expungement after five years from the date of conviction. If the Level 6 or Class D felony remains as a felony and is never reduced to a misdemeanor, then it can still be expunged, but you have to wait eight years from the date of conviction.
For other felony convictions, including Class A, Class B, and Class C felonies (under the old code) or Levels 1–5 felonies under the current code, they still likely can be expunged as long as they are not on the list above and eight years have passed from the date of conviction or three years have passed since the sentence has been completed, whichever is longer. These types of crimes would largely consist of major felony drug crimes or thefts with high dollar amounts.
Is Prosecutor Approval Needed for a Felony Expungement?
Everything we’ve discussed so far can be done without prosecutor approval. It should be noted that these “serious” felonies (i.e., higher than Class D or Level 6) are at the discretion of the court as to whether they should be granted; they can be filed without prosecutorial approval. As long as you have stayed out of trouble for the required period, and satisfied your financial obligations, you do qualify for Expungement. However, for felonies involving serious bodily injury or crimes committed by elected officials while in office, prosecutor approval is required. On top of that, you must wait at least ten years from the date of conviction or five years after completing the sentence, whichever is longer.
Here at The Criminal Defense Team, we have trained felony Expungement lawyers who can assist you in cleaning up your criminal history. Whether it’s arrest records from one bad night or court records from a serious felony conviction, we love to help people put the past behind them and move toward a better future. We have offices in Franklin, Indianapolis, and Noblesville, but we handle Expungements all over the state of Indiana. Call us today for a free consultation about your Expungement needs.