Indiana’s New Criminal Record Expungement Law
The new Indiana Expungement Law, I.C. 35-38-9-2, became effective July 1, 2013. The Expungement Law provides a means by which persons with certain criminal convictions on their record may petition the Indiana courts to have their record expunged. As it is used in the Indiana statutes, expungement means restricting access to or restricting the use of the person’s records. A person who meets the requirements of the statute is entitled to have the conviction records for most misdemeanor and minor Class D felonies expunged. It may be possible to expunge certain higher felony convictions as well.
What Does It Mean To Have Your Criminal Record Expunged?
If the court orders the conviction records for a misdemeanor or minor Class D felony expunged, the records are sealed and excluded from public access. Future access to such sealed court records will be limited to a prosecuting attorney under certain conditions, law enforcement officers acting in the course of the officer’s official duty and the FBI and Department of Homeland Security. Other parties may gain access to the sealed records under certain conditions after petition and hearing with the Indiana court. Generally, however, your records will not be available to the public.
Fresh Start Without A Public Criminal Record
Do you have a criminal conviction in your past that has prevented you from gaining employment or housing, or have you been embarrassed by a criminal background check that exposed your record? The new Indiana Expungement Law, or Second Chance Law, was created to provide people like you a means to get a fresh start. If a court orders your criminal record expunged, you may legally claim to the public that you do not have those convictions, as if the conviction never happened. Further, it is illegal for a person to discriminate against another person on the basis of a record that has been expunged by an Indiana court.
Seek The Advice Of A Knowledgeable Indiana Attorney
The Indiana Expungement Law was created to give people a second chance at life without a criminal record, but it is important to understand that there are restrictions effecting your ability to petition for expungement more than once in your lifetime. Filing your petition to seal your criminal record requires careful planning and it is important that it is filed at the optimal time. The process for expungement is very complex and it is recommended that you seek the advice and assistance of an attorney.