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Expungements in Northwest Indiana

In Indiana, The State Police serves as the central repository for criminal histories. Under state law, records that are part of a person’s criminal background may be sealed or expunged. For this to happen, a petition for expungement must be filed with a local court by a private attorney or by an individual (pro se). 

Once the court grants an expungement or seal, the confirmed petition and order granting the petition are sent to the expungement section of the Indiana State Police. To ensure all the documents are submitted correctly, again, it’s best to confer with a lawyer. Otherwise, the process will be delayed. 

In Indiana, you may be able to clean up your criminal history under one of various circumstances. Expungement can be an involved and complex process. That’s why it’s best to schedule an appointment with an attorney to see how you may be able to remove certain offenses from your record.

If your record is sealed or expunged, you can apply for employment and state, legally, that you have not been convicted of a crime. (Indiana Code § 35-38-9-10 (2020).)

Expungement for Non-Conviction Records

Individuals with non-conviction criminal records are eligible for expungement – making it possible to prohibit anyone from accessing the information without a court order. You can expunge the record one year from your arrest date if you were arrested but not convicted or you were convicted but, later, the conviction was vacated. A conviction is vacated when the court sets aside a guilty verdict or withdraws a plea of “guilty” and dismisses the charge.

When expunging non-conviction records, the applicant can do so without paying a fee. Also, a petition may be filed before a year’s time if you can okay it with the prosecutor.

DNA Evidence

You can also submit a petition to remove your DNA profile from Indiana’s state database if the court reversed your conviction and the case was dismissed. This rule is also applicable if you were arrested for one or more felonies in the following circumstances:

  • All felony charges were changed to misdemeanors, or you were acquitted of all the felony charges.
  • The charges against you were dismissed.
  • One year has passed since you were arrested, and no felony charges have been filed against you.

Removal of your DNA profile involves steps that are different from the procedures pertaining to expungement (IC 10-13-6-18 (2020).)

Expungements for Convictions

Convictions for misdemeanors, Class D or Level 6 felonies, and Class D or Level 6 felonies that were converted to misdemeanors may be expunged. In these cases, records are sealed and not available without a court order.

However, records containing more serious felony convictions are open to public access, even after expungement. The record must show a clear indication that it has been expunged.

If you have been convicted of a qualified misdemeanor, a Class D or Level 6 felony reduced to a misdemeanor crime, or a Class D or Level 6 felony, you may have your record expunged and sealed if the following applies:

  • You were not convicted of two or more separate felonies that involved a deadly weapon.
  • You have not committed a violent crime or sex crime.
  • You do not have charges pending against you.
  • You’ve paid all the court costs and restitution related to your case.
  • You do not have any new convictions.

You must wait five years to have your record expunged if you were convicted of a misdemeanor crime or a Class D or Level 6 felony that was changed to a misdemeanor. Your wait time jumps up to eight years if you were convicted of a Class D or Level 6 felony. You may ask the prosecuting attorney for approval to file for expungement before the five or eight years are up.

Class A, B, C, and Level 1 – 5 Felonies

Other felony convictions that fall under Class A, B, or C and Levels 1 through 5, may be expunged if:

  • You were not convicted of two or more separate felonies that entailed the use of a deadly weapon.
  • You have no current pending charges.
  • You’ve paid all your court costs and charges and restitution related to your case.
  • You do not have current convictions.

The waiting period for most felony convictions spans eight years from the conviction date or three years after the completion of your sentence.

Offenses That Do Not Qualify for Expungement

A conviction for a Class D or Level 6 felony, including homicide and offenses that cause bodily injury or are related to perjury or human trafficking, are ineligible for expungement. Also, a perpetrator who runs as a candidate for public office or who served as an elected official cannot have their criminal record sealed.

Learn More About Expungement by Speaking to a Crown Point Criminal Attorney

Learn more about the expungement process by scheduling a consultation with a Crown Point criminal attorney. Take a positive step forward and schedule an appointment today by contacting the Law Offices of Shane O’Donnell.

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