By now, many of you may have heard about the Indiana Expungement Law that went into effect in 2013, and that had changes as recently as 2014. Indiana Law details the expungement conviction laws under Indiana Code I.C. 35-38-9. Expungement of a conviction may help you in your next application for employment, or some other life endeavor. So what kind of offenses, arrests, and convictions are eligible with the Indiana Expungement Law?
Expungement of Arrest Records
Indiana Law has been modified in a way that allows many more arrests to be expunged. Whereas before when expungement of arrest records were limited to situations like mistaken identity or where no probable cause ever existed at the time of the arrest, Indiana Expungement law now allows expungement of arrest records, as long as a dismissal, the case did not ultimately result in a conviction, or a conviction was vacated on appeal, was ultimately achieved. This could even mean in a situation where an individual was placed onto the diversion program. The law does require at least one year having passed since the arrest, if a party was not convicted, or one year after the date of an appellate opinion vacating the conviction, unless the prosecutor has agreed in writing to a shorter period of time. Our office has been successful in assisting clients in obtaining expugement of arrest records up to and including for Class B Felony arrests.
Expungement of Conviction Records for Misdemeanors or Class D Felony (Or Level 6) Convictions Reduced to Misdemeanors
When the 2013 Indiana Expungement law went into effect, it had much more stringent requirements than the new law. For example it required a showing of various things by “clear and convincing” evidence. The 2014 updates to the Indiana Law now only requires an individual petitioning for an expungement of a conviction under Indiana Law to prove the statutory elements and do so by a “preponderance of the evidence”. For expungment of a misdemeanor offense or a Class D (or level 6) felony conviction one must show the following things: 1) that at least five (5) years has expired since the date of Petitioner’s conviction to be expunged (or the Prosecuting Attorney of the county of conviction has agreed in writing to a lesser time period), 2) there must be no open criminal investigations or charges against the Petitioner, 3) Petitioner cannot have been convicted of any other crime within the past five (5) years (or the Prosecuting Attorney of the county of conviction has agreed in writing to a lesser time period), 4) the petitioner has paid all fines, fees and costs as a part of the sentence. Other requirements include such things as attaching a copy of a certified driving record, making sure to follow various procedural requirements of the statute, including proper service on the prosecutor, etc. If certain requirements are met, and procedural issues are followed, you are likely eligible for expungement. It is important to realize that your ability to file for a Petition for Expungment of convictions is limited by statute, and that if important procedural mechanisms are not followed they can be denied, and/or subject to dismissal. Our attorneys are able to advise you on Criminal Defense issues, and Petitions for Expungement and are happy to discuss your eligibility, or future eligibility.
Expungement of Conviction Records for Felonies
Even if you are convicted of a Felony (not reduced to a Misdemeanor), you may still be eligible to petition the Court for an expungement of your convictions. There is typically much more discretion afforded to the Court when dealing with these types of convictions but, nevertheless, expungement is possible. The changes include, for starters, include the waiting period which goes up to eight (8) years from the conviction (unless the Prosecuting Attorney of the county of conviction has agreed in writing to a lesser time period), and no other convictions could have occurred in the past eight (8) years. You still can’t have a driver’s license suspension, and you must not have a pending charge or be under criminal investigation. Additionally there are various crimes that are automatic disqualifiers. These types of offenses are very case specific and require additional information. If you would like to discuss a Petition for Expungement in more depth, please contact our office to discuss today.
The Indiana Expungement Law is providing a necessary mechanism for individuals who have made mistakes earlier in life, but have cleaned up their act, and has stayed away from the criminal justice system for some time. One type of expungement we see often, are those who may have criminal arrests, or convictions as a result of various occurrences that may have occurred in early adulthood or college. The last thing we want for ourselves and our children, are the mistakes from those days to effect the rest of our lives.
Our attorneys are attorneys have filed Petitions for Expungement in multiple counties throughout the State of Indiana, are are willing to file them in nearly any county in the State of Indiana including: Hamilton County, Marion County, Delaware County, Tipton County, Madison County, Tippecanoe County, Knox County, Monroe County, etc.
Authored by Attorney: Trampas A. Whalin, ADLER TESNAR & WHALIN