After you have been found guilty of a criminal offense, your public criminal record will reflect your conviction. This record can follow you for years, even after you have served your sentence or completed any term of probation. Any conviction, even for misdemeanor or property crimes, can affect your professional future.
Like other states, Indiana recognizes the harm a criminal record can create for people who have reformed themselves. To this end, the state’s expungement laws work to remove, or “expunge,” the conviction from your criminal record.
Obtaining an expungement can be confusing and is not a guaranteed right. Enlisting the help of a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can help you navigate the process and get the relief you seek.
Eligibility for Expungement in Indiana
Most, but not all, criminal offenses in Indiana are eligible for expungement from your criminal record. There are several crimes, though, that are not eligible to be expunged no matter how much time has passed or how much you have reformed your ways. Your expungement lawyer from Kaushal Law can identify whether your crime qualifies for an expungement.
If you seek to expunge a misdemeanor, you must generally wait five years from the date of your conviction before applying for expungement. You will receive an expungement if you are not presently facing criminal charges, have not been convicted of any crime within the preceding five years, and have satisfied all the financial obligations of your case.
Expunging a felony can present complications. For Level 6 and Class D felonies, you will be eligible for an expungement if more than eight years have passed since your conviction, you have not been convicted of any crimes within the preceding eight years, you have satisfied your case’s financial obligations, and do not have any pending charges.
For more severe felonies, though, the court can deny your request for expungement at its discretion. Your expungement lawyer may need to present your petition to the court and explain why your expungement request should be granted. If the court still denies your expungement, you will have to reapply no earlier than three years following the denial.
Other Records Can Be Expunged, Too
Not only can you expunge criminal convictions, but you can expunge records of your arrest and charges filed against you if these did not result in a conviction. Similarly, if you participated in a pretrial diversion program through the prosecutor’s office, you can apply to have these records expunged from your public criminal record.
Why You Should Retain an Expungement Lawyer
Indiana law permits you to expunge your convictions from your record once in your lifetime for each county in which you have convictions. For example, if you have convictions in Marion County and one in Howard County, you can petition in each county to have the respective conviction expunged.
Following an expungement, though, if you were to obtain a new conviction in Marion County, you would not be able to expunge this recent conviction no matter how much time passed.
These and other particulars about Indiana’s expungement statutes make it wise to retain an expungement lawyer to help advise and represent you. As a former prosecutor, our attorney at Kaushal Law is intimately familiar with the expungement laws and will work with you to maximize their benefit for you.
Contact Kaushal Law, your Indiana expungement lawyer, today to discuss your situation and needs.