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Do you have an old conviction or arrest on your record that is stopping you from getting a job or otherwise interfering with your livelihood? You may be eligible to have that conviction or arrest expunged. The Criminal Defense Team can clean up your criminal record and help give you a fresh start in life.

An individual’s criminal history file may be expunged or sealed under Indiana law. Individuals may apply for expungement after a waiting period that varies depending upon the seriousness of the offense. Misdemeanors may be expunged, if eligible, five years after you are last on paper and many felony convictions may be eligible for expungement after eight years. Dismissals or cases that were not filed may be eligible after one year.

Expungement is a complicated process, and not all convictions can be expunged. The request for an expungement can only be made once, and if not done properly, will not be granted and you may lose your ability to petition for an expungement later. We are proud to have helped many Hoosiers get their convictions expunged so their pasts don’t affect their futures. A conviction should not hold anyone back from carrying a firearm, applying for a loan, obtaining gainful employment, or purchasing their dream home. The Criminal Defense Team is here to help you with your expungement. Our Board Certified* attorneys have the expertise you need to reach your desired outcome in your case. Contact us at (317) 687-8326 for a free consultation to learn more about what we can do for you.

How an Indiana Expungement Lawyer Can Help

An arrest or conviction can upend your whole life. It often makes the basic tasks that so many people take for granted much more challenging.

Expungement laws allow you to seal your records, so you may not have any charges or convictions holding you back from achieving your goals.

Even if you were convicted of a crime many years ago, your criminal record is still there for anyone to see. Arrests, charges, and convictions can continue to haunt you and affect every part of your life, such as:

  • Driving privileges
  • Applying for jobs
  • Owning a firearm
  • Gaining custody of your children
  • Obtaining a professional license
  • Changing your immigration status
  • Your state and local online records

Although you can’t completely erase what happened, you could take the necessary steps to restrict someone’s access to the record of your criminal past by hiring The Criminal Defense Team.

What Is Expungement?

Expungement is a legal process that allows a person to have their criminal history sealed. If a landlord, potential employer, or another interested party asks if you have ever been convicted of a crime, if your record has been expunged, you are under no legal obligation to disclose your criminal past. Even if they perform a simple online search, they won’t be able to find anything related to your misdemeanor arrests, charges, or convictions if you went through the process of expungement.

In Indiana, records that may be eligible for expungement include:

  • Criminal convictions (misdemeanors and Level 6 Felonies)
  • Arrests
  • Delinquency adjudications
  • Appellate court records
  • Criminal charges
  • Forfeiture records
  • Trial court records
  • Post-conviction relief records

You can only file a petition for expungement once. That means you must list every charge, arrest, or record in the counties where the offenses occurred in one single petition. If you have a record in additional counties, you must file those separately in those counties. You must file your requests for all expungements within one year.

Expunging Arrests, Charges, and Convictions of an Adult

If you committed a criminal offense as an adult, the courts would determine if you’re eligible for expungement by considering these factors:

  • Type of record – arrest, charge, or conviction
  • Type and level of the crime committed
  • Amount of time since the arrest, charge, or conviction
  • Your personal characteristics

Expunging Juvenile Records

Juvenile offenders may be eligible for expungement of dismissed charges, arrests, and juvenile delinquency records. You must meet specific criteria to request an expungement:

  • The arrest happened at least one year ago
  • You are not participating in a pretrial diversion program at the moment
  • No criminal charges are pending against you
  • You have not been convicted of a crime within the past year
  • The arrest led to a conviction or juvenile delinquency adjudication, but an appeal had it overturned, or the charge or arrest didn’t result in a juvenile delinquency adjudication or conviction
  • You completed the requirements of all diversion programs successfully

If you meet every requirement above, the court must grant your request for expungement.

Expunging Misdemeanors and Class D or Level 6 Felonies Reduced to a Misdemeanor

You could expunge your conviction of a misdemeanor offense or Level 6 or Class D felony charge that was reduced to a misdemeanor if you meet these requirements:

  • No criminal charges are pending against you
  • At least five years have passed since the conviction
  • You paid the filing fee for expungement
  • You have not been convicted of an offense within five years of your expungement request
  • You paid all fees, court costs, fines, and restitution orders

The court must grant your expungement request if you meet the criteria above.

If you have a Class D or Level 6 felony on your record not reduced to a misdemeanor, you must meet these requirements for expungement:

  • It has been at least eight years since your conviction
  • You paid the filing fee for expungement
  • You paid all court costs, fees, fines, and restitution orders
  • There aren’t pending criminal charges against you
  • You have not been convicted of a crime in the last eight years

The court must grant your request if you meet each of these requirements.

Expunging Certain Less Serious Felonies

You may be eligible to expunge convictions of a less serious felony if you meet these criteria:

  • You have not been convicted of an offense within the last eight years of your request
  • At least three years have passed since completing your sentence or at least eight years have passed since being convicted
  • There are no pending criminal charges against you
  • You paid the expungement filing fee
  • You paid all restitution orders, fees, fines, and court costs

Expunging Convictions of Certain Serious Felonies

You must obtain prosecutor approval to request an expungement of a serious felony conviction. The offenses eligible for this request include:

  • Felonies causing another person serious bodily injury
  • Elected officials convicted of a felony while serving an official term or as a public office candidate

However, eligibility for expungement does not apply to:

  • Sex or violent offenders defined under Indiana Code 11-8-8-5
  • Conviction of a felony that caused someone’s death
  • Official misconduct conviction
  • Conviction of an offense under Indiana Code 35-42-135-42-3.5, or 35-42-4
  • Two or more felony convictions involving unlawfully using a deadly weapon and not committed as part of the same episode of criminal conduct

You must meet these requirements for an expungement request:

  • Consent to expungement by the prosecutor
  • No current criminal charges pending against you
  • You have not been convicted of a crime in the last ten years
  • At least five years have passed since the sentence was served for your most recent conviction or at least ten years have passed since the date of conviction, whichever is later
  • You paid the expungement filing fee
  • You paid all court costs, fees, restitution orders, and fines

Even if you meet all requirements, the court may or may not grant your request to expunge your conviction of a felony offense.

What Happens to an Expunged Record?

Most people can’t see your criminal history because public databases don’t show an expunged record.

This is what happens with an approved expungement request:

  • Arrest records become sealed. If the arrest led to collateral or related action, the court would redact documents associated with the case by removing the offender’s name.
  • Records related to major and serious felony convictions are still public but marked as expunged. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Indiana State Police, and other law enforcement agencies must notate expungement on their records of charges, convictions, or arrests for major and serious felonies.
  • Indiana laws prohibit these entities from releasing information or records related to misdemeanor and Class D or Level 6 felonies: the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Indiana Department of Correction, and law enforcement agencies involved in prosecuting, incarcerating, or providing services or treatment to the offender under a court order.
  • Court order is made to seal expunged misdemeanor and class D or Level 6 felony records from the state repository for criminal history. This includes associated records of collateral action, such as civil forfeiture.

Someone who has a court order or a police officer acting in the scope of their duties could access expunged records.

Restoring Your Rights After Expungement

Indiana Code 35-38-9-10(b) prohibits any person from discriminating against you because of an expunged arrest or conviction by:

  • Suspending
  • Expelling
  • Refusing to admit
  • Refusing to employ
  • Refusing to renew or grant a permit, license, or certificate necessary to engage in any occupation, activity, or profession
  • Otherwise engaging in discrimination

Basically, this means people must treat you as though you have never been arrested, charged, or convicted of a criminal offense. If you’re applying for a job and the employer asks if you have a criminal record, you can honestly answer yes if the court expunged your conviction. Your answer cannot legally affect your job application.

You could own a firearm after expungement. However, the court won’t automatically restore these rights if you were convicted of a felony or misdemeanor for domestic violence. You would have to file a separate petition after five years have passed since the conviction.

The court will determine if they’re going to restore your right to own a firearm by reviewing these factors:

  • Whether there is a protective order, workplace violence restraining order, no-contact order, or any court order against you prohibiting owning a firearm
  • Successful completion of a parenting class
  • Successful completion of a substance abuse program
  • Whether you still pose a threat to the victim

Expunging a conviction also restores your right to serve as a juror, vote, and hold public office.

Fees to File an Expungement Petition

You must pay all filing fees when you submit your request to have your record expunged. If you hire a lawyer, you will have to pay the attorney’s fees as well. Additionally, you will have to pay any unpaid court costs, fines, restitution, and other fees associated with your conviction before the court can grant the expungement.

There isn’t a filing fee for petitions to expunge pretrial diversions or arrests. All other convictions require paying a single fee for each petition you file. So if you have two convictions in one county, you would only have to pay one fee for that petition. However, if you have convictions in multiple counties, you would have to pay a separate fee for each petition you file with each county court.

Contact Us

The Indiana expungement lawyers of The Criminal Defense Team have over 120 years of combined experience handling criminal cases. There are only six Board-Certified Criminal Lawyers in Indiana, and five of them work at our firm. We believe in defending the rights of our clients and fighting for their futures. You can depend on us to provide the aggressive representation you need to achieve your legal goals.

Your criminal charges, arrest, or conviction should not ruin your life. We will be your advocate and stay by your side during every step of the expungement process. Do not hesitate to contact The Criminal Defense Team to discuss your case and learn about your legal options. Call us at (317) 687-8326 now for a free consultation.

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Board Certification is an elite title reserved for those lawyers who have expertise and dedication in one area of law as well as extensive trial experience. We are proud of that title and what it represents. Our Board Certified* lawyers fight for our clients and work with all of our lawyers every day to help obtain the best possible outcome for our clients.

You wouldn’t want a general practice doctor who is not board certified to handle your heart condition, why would you want a general practice law firm with no Board Certified Criminal Trial Specialists to handle your criminal case?

*Andrew Baldwin, Mark Kamish, Kathie Perry, Maxwell Wiley, and Carrie Miles are certified Criminal Trial Specialists by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA), a nonprofit organization that certifies attorneys of various legal focuses. To earn an NTBA certification, an attorney must demonstrably show the highest levels of trial experience, competence and integrity.

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