What is a Criminal Record Expungement?
A conviction of a crime can have consequences that can be without question, life-changing. Often, those who have either been arrested, or have served out an executed criminal sentence, may find that future employers, housing, insurance agencies, schools and other learning institutions will use any criminal history as a major barrier to entry. A criminal record involving even an arrest for a minor crime, can continue to interfere with your personal and social lives. With a criminal history, there may be prevented from:
- Working for certain employers
- Obtaining a government loan,
- Obtaining funding to attend a college or university
- Obtaining favorable insurance rates
The Indiana Second Chance Law is the process of a legally obtained expungement of your criminal records. An expungement is the opportunity afforded by the government that allows individuals to seal your criminal record. A criminal expungement effectively makes your convictions inaccessible to most organizations. In certain instances, the government can still have access to your record. An expungement makes your record only invisible to law enforcement officials, and federal officials or to others as part of background screenings. Under Indiana law, employers, are prohibited from using information about a potential job applicant’s sealed criminal record as a means of discrimination. When you work with an Indiana expungement lawyer, such as the team at D Turner Legal, works within the confines of the Indiana Second Chance law to create and file a petition with the courts on your behalf, to seal your criminal record. A criminal expungement in Indiana is a second chance, a new opportunity to regain the freedoms available prior to an arrest or even a conviction!
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Benefits of an Indiana Criminal Record Expungement
Expungement of your criminal record does not mean that the record is completely eliminated or dismissed from your history. Rather, it means that the record is sealed, and is inaccessible to members of the general public. When your record has been sealed, you can safely and legally claim that the crime never occurred. If the record has been expunged, you are no longer under any obligation to disclose the conviction on any kind of employment or job application, or an application to a college or university, or even a loan application.
Under the Indiana Second Chance Law, a criminal record expungement is permanent. and could mean that your criminal records are sealed permanently, allowing you to move forward into an anxiety-free life, with a fresh slate. To discuss your criminal record and the Indiana expungement process, call our office as soon as possible.
Who Is Eligible for a Record Expungement in Indiana?
Unfortunately, everyone is not automatically eligible for an expungement. The expungement of criminal records is possible in ta number of various situations. Some of the situations where an expungement is probable to attain include:
- When an individual was arrested, but not convicted of the crime
- When an individual is convicted, but the conviction was later overturned after an appeal
- When an individual is convicted of a large majority of misdemeanors
As previously mentioned, there are situations when an individual is disqualified from an expungement. Some of the situations where a person is not eligible for a criminal record expungement include:
- When an individual has been convicted of violent crimes involving physical harm to another individual
- When an individual has been convicted of sex crimes
- When an individual has been convicted of a crime of official misconduct
To help to determine if your misdemeanor, felony record or even arrest is eligible for an expungement under the Indiana Second Chance Law, speak with Indiana expungement lawyers in Indianapolis like the team at D Turner Legal, LLC.
An Experienced Indiana Expungement Lawyer
Are you eligible for an expungement of your criminal history? Give us a call at 317-721-4783 and schedule a free consultation right now! We serve our clients in obtaining expungements throughout the State of Indiana. If you are interested in expunging your record, don’t waste any time–contact our law offices today. It’s time to leave that old record behind.
FAQ’s Regarding Indiana Criminal Record Expungement
How much does it cost to file my expungement petition?
The non-refundable filing fee of $130.00 per district is payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court by cash, money order, certified check,
cashier’s check, or personal check. (Indiana Statute) Your Driver’s License, State I.D., telephone number, and case number should be
written on the face of the check. There may be additional filing fees determined by the jurisdiction. If required in the District in which you are filing (see answer to Question #3), you will also be charged $1 per certified copy (IC 33- 37-5-3) for each disposition (copy of the Clerk’s Office’s Docket for each criminal case on your record). This is also payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court.
What if I can’t afford the filing fee?
In Indiana there is no fee waiver for indigent citizens to apply for expungement petitions. For record sealing petitions there is no filing fee.
Do I have to attach a copy of my rap sheet and certified copies of my dispositions to my petition?
Yes, you need a copy of your criminal history to make sure the Clerk’s Office can easily find any and all offenses you may have
committed in order to alter your records. Certified copies may not be necessary depending on the location where you file, so be prepared to
produce Certified Copies of your dispositions if needed.
Can I expunge or seal an Order of Protection?
No. The expungement statute only applies to certain criminal offenses and traffic records. It does not apply to orders of protection, noncriminal minor traffic tickets (unless you were released without charging), divorces, or other civil matters.
Can the Clerk’s Office help me fill out my petition?
No. Employees of the Clerk’s Office are absolutely prohibited by law from giving legal advice or assisting customers to fill out court forms.
Only Indiana licensed attorneys are permitted by law to give you legal advice. As the official keeper of the record for the Circuit Court, the
Clerk’s Office, can, however, provide you with copies of your dispositions and provide the expungement forms for you to fill out.
What is a conviction?
A conviction is a final judgment of guilt by the court. A conviction includes terms such as PROBATION (except first-offender drug
probation), CONDITIONAL DISCHARGE, FINE (without the term “supervision”), TIME CONSIDERED SERVED, JAIL TIME, and
FINDING OF GUILTY by a judge or jury (without the term “supervision”). SUPERVISION or first-offender drug PROBATION
that was terminated unsatisfactorily is also considered a conviction.
What is NOT a conviction?
The following are not considered to be convictions: SUPERVISION completed satisfactorily, STRICKEN OFF WITH LEAVE TO REINSTATE (SOL), FINDING OF NO PROBABLE CAUSE (FNPC), NON-SUIT, DISMISSED, NOT GUILTY.
What if I was charged as a juvenile?
See the Guidelines for Juvenile Expungement available at the Clerk’s Office. There is a separate process for expungement of juvenile
If I wait long enough, isn’t my record automatically expunged?
No. There is no such thing as an “automatic expungement.” Once you get arrested, you will have an arrest record even if you were never
charged, the case was dismissed, you were found not guilty, or you successfully completed court supervision. The only way to remove the
arrest from your record is to file a petition to expunge or seal your record.
If I was found not guilty, do I still need to file a petition?
Yes. Your criminal record contains all your arrests, whether you were found guilty or innocent.
I was pressured into pleading guilty even though I was innocent. Does that qualify me for expungement?
No. Once you plead guilty, any presumption of innocence is waived.
What is the difference between expungement and sealing?
When a record is sealed, the public will not have access to it through the government databases. That means most employers will not have
access to the information. However, city, county, state and federal government and agencies, including the police and military, have a
legal right to access criminal history records even if they are sealed.
When a criminal record is expunged, agencies that would have access to a sealed record will be able to know that criminal information has been
expunged from the record, and would only have access to the record through a court order.
How do I find out if the judge has granted or denied my petition for an expungement?
Once the Judge has filed an order on the petition, either granting or denying it, the order will be sent by the clerk to inform you.
If the court orders my record expunged or sealed, do I have to take any action?
No, once the expungement is granted, the court records and other public records relating to the arrest, conviction, or sentence will be
clearly and visibly marked or identified as expunged, however, they remain public records and will remain on public access. (I.C. 35-38-9-
7(b)). The state police department, the BMV and any other law enforcement agency in possession of records that relate to the
conviction ordered to be marked as expunged shall add an entry to the person’s record of arrest, conviction or sentence in the criminal
history data base stating that the record is marked expunged. (I.C. 35- 38-9-7(c)) (Subject to change from county to county).
Is manslaughter an expugnable offense?
What if I have convictions in other states?
If you have convictions in other states, you will have to follow that states’ expungement procedure.
Time frame to file a petition?
You can file to seal an arrest one year after the arrest, if there was no conviction. To expunge you must wait the allotted time listed above
for the offense listed on your “rap sheet.”
How does the Second Chance Law apply to offenders who are currently serving their time?
Offenders who are currently serving time must wait till after their sentence is served and wait the allotted time stated above for the
What if probation, restitution or other conditions from the Court have not been met?
You must wait till all obligations have been met, then you must wait the allotted time stated above for the specific offense before filing a
Does the Indiana Second Chance law expungement cover all applications and gun permits for life?
Your expunged criminal history will not be accessible to state officials who regulate gun permits.
Why is hiring an attorney suggested?
It is suggested because the law is and the process is difficult to understand. Also you only have one chance during your lifetime to
apply for expungement.
How does a person resolve the petition denial due to a driver’s license being suspended?
A person petitioning for expungement should ensure their driver’s license is in good standing before petitioning for an expungement.
You only get one chance to petition for expungement, so it is important to ensure everything is taken care of before starting the
After records have been expunged does a person have to answer “yes” to felonies or misdemeanors?
No, you do not have to answer “yes” to felonies or misdemeanors that have been expunged.
Before starting the petition does a person have to obtain their criminal background from other states?
No. You only need to obtain criminal history for Indiana. However, it may be important to obtain your entire criminal history to keep record
of all charges that have been made against you to file for petitions in other states.
Does a signed plea agreement waive a person’s rights to have charges or convictions expunged?
No. You cannot waive your right to expunge your criminal record.