Expungement & Record Sealing

Expungement & Record Sealing Information

 

What is an expungement?

According to the American Bar Association,

To “expunge” is to “erase or remove completely.” In law, “expungement” is the process by which a record of criminal conviction is destroyed or sealed from state or federal record. An expungement order directs the court to treat the criminal conviction as if it had never occurred, essentially removing it from a defendant’s criminal record as well as, ideally, the public record.

How can an expungement help me?

In July of 2013, Indiana’s expungement law, also referred to as the “Second Chance Act”, went into effect. The new law is designed to help law-abiding citizens move forward after a past a mistake. For some, an expungement is a first step toward a better future. A criminal record can potential reduce your chances of obtaining a job and from renting or owning a home. Once a record is expunged, it is no longer publically available to employers, friends, family, landlords and lenders.

When can I file for expungement?

Expungement is available after a waiting period dependent upon the criminal offense. Statute requires that expungement is mandatory for certain offenses or non-convictions so long as all eligibility requirements are met prior to petitioning. As explained below, records of misdemeanors and minor felony convictions, and non-conviction records are “sealed” upon an expungement being granted. This limits any access to these records without a court order. More serious felonies remain public upon expungement, but are marked as “expungement” once granted.

What records can be expunged?

According to IC 35-38-9-1,  a person can file for expungement if:

  • The arrest did not result in a conviction or juvenile adjudication; or
  • Resulted in a conviction or juvenile adjudication and the conviction or adjudication was vacated on appeal; and
  • The person is not currently participating in a pretrial diversion program
  • Not earlier than one (1) year after the date of arrest, if the person was not convicted or adjudicated a delinquent child, or the date of the opinion vacating the conviction or adjudication becomes final (unless the prosecuting attorney agrees in writing to an earlier time)

According to IC 35-38-9-2, a person can file for expungement if:

  • A person was convicted of a misdemeanor, including a Class D felony (for a crime committed before July 1, 2014) or a Level 6 felony (for a crime committed after June 30, 2014) reduced to a misdemeanor.
  • Not earlier than five (5) years after the date of conviction (unless the prosecuting attorney consents in writing to an earlier period)
  • The period required by this section has elapsed
  • No charges are pending against the person;
  • The person has paid all fines, fees, and court costs, and satisfied any restitution obligation placed on the person as part of the sentence; and
  • The person has not been convicted of a crime within the previous five (5) years (or within a shorter period agreed to by the prosecuting attorney if the prosecuting attorney has consented to a shorter period under subsection

According to IC 35-38-9-3, a person can file for expungement if:

  • A person was convicted of a Class D felony or a Level 6 felony, not batter. This section does not apply to a person if the person’s Class D felony or Level 6 felony was reduced to a Class A misdemeanor.
  • Not earlier than eight (8) years after the date of conviction (unless the prosecuting attorney consents in writing to an earlier period),
  • The period required by this section has elapsed
  • No charges are pending against the person;
  • The person has paid all fines, fees, and court costs, and satisfied any restitution obligation placed on the person as part of the sentence; and
  • The person has not been convicted of a crime within the previous eight (8) years (or within a shorter period agreed to by the prosecuting attorney if the prosecuting attorney has consented to a shorter period under subsection

According to IC 35-38-9-4, a person can file for expungement if:

  • A person was convicted of a Class A, B, C, or D felony not included in Section 3 or for a Felony Battery without serious bodily injury.
  • Not earlier than eight (8) years after the date of conviction (unless the prosecuting attorney consents in writing to an earlier period), 3 years from completion of sentence (including probation)
  • The period required by this section has elapsed
  • No charges are pending against the person;
  • The person has paid all fines, fees, and court costs, and satisfied any restitution obligation placed on the person as part of the sentence; and
  • The person has not been convicted of a crime within the previous eight (8) years (or within a shorter period agreed to by the prosecuting attorney if the prosecuting attorney has consented to a shorter period under subsection

According to IC 35-38-9-5, a person can file for expungement if:

  • A person was convicted of a Class A, B, C, or D felony with serious bodily injury.
  • Not earlier than eight (8) years after the date of conviction (unless the prosecuting attorney consents in writing to an earlier period), 5 years from completion of sentence (including probation)
  • The period required by this section has elapsed
  • No charges are pending against the person;
  • The person has paid all fines, fees, and court costs, and satisfied any restitution obligation placed on the person as part of the sentence; and
  • The person has not been convicted of a crime within the previous eight (8) years (or within a shorter period agreed to by the prosecuting attorney if the prosecuting attorney has consented to a shorter period under subsection

Crimes not eligible for expungement include human trafficking, official misconduct, murder, and sex crimes.

Our staff is prepared to help you determine eligibility for filing and eager to begin creating a plan to clear any past mistakes. Contact Hayes Law Office today and allow us to help you move forward with your life!

 

Sources:

American Bar Publications

Sealing and Expunging Conviction Records

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