If you made mistakes in your past that led to a criminal record in Indiana, you may wonder if there is a way to start fresh.
Fortunately, Indiana offers a process known as expungement, which allows eligible individuals to have certain criminal records erased or sealed from public view.
The eligibility criteria
To determine if you qualify for expungement, you must meet specific criteria:
- You have completed your sentence, including probation, parole or any other court-imposed requirements
- You have not committed any new crimes since completing your sentence
- A specified waiting period has passed, which varies depending on the nature of the offense. For misdemeanors, it is typically five years, while for most felonies, it is eight years
Certain offenses are not eligible for expungement, such as violent crimes, sex offenses and other serious felonies. However, many non-violent and low-level offenses may qualify for expungement.
The expungement process
If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can begin the expungement process. The first step is to obtain a copy of your criminal record. Next, you will need to file a petition for expungement in the county where the conviction occurred. The court will review your case and schedule a hearing to determine whether you meet the eligibility requirements.
You will then need to attend a hearing to present your case. This will include demonstrating your rehabilitation and reintegration into society successfully. After the hearing, the court will make a decision regarding your expungement request. If approved, your criminal record will either get sealed or expunged.
Approximately 80 million Americans have a criminal record, which often keeps them from securing employment and housing. For some people, expungement offers a way to enjoy a clean slate.