Indiana Expungement Law -10 Answers to F.A.Q!

An Indiana Expungement Lawyer Answers The Most Frequently Asked Questions About the Indiana Expungement Law.

  1. What is the Indiana Expungement Law?

When an adult is convicted of a crime, the stigma of a conviction can follow them through life creating many roadblocks.  In addition to the stigma of being labeled an “ex-con” or felon, finding employment can be very difficult.   So the Indiana Legislature passed the Indiana Expungement Law.

The Indiana General Assembly wanted to give individuals who have been convicted of certain crimes a second chance by not experiencing many of the stigmas associated with a criminal conviction, especially where an individual has completed the requirements established by the trial court and has since been a law-abiding citizen.

In other words, the Indiana Expungement Law gives individuals that ability to clear their criminal slate and start over.

Want to know if you qualify for an expungement in Indiana? Click to begin a free no obligation Indiana Expungement Evaluation to determine eligibility.

The Indiana Expungement Law can be found in Indiana Code 35-38-9, which is titled “Sealing and Expunging Conviction Records.”  It is also known as the Second Chance Act.

The law has been amended a few times since it originally passed in 2011, and it was revised and condensed in 2013 into Indiana Code 35-38-9.

  1. Can you have an Arrest Record Expunged in Indiana?

Yes.  Section 1 of the Indiana Expungement Law allows arrests to be expunged if:

  • The arrest:
  1.  Did not result in a conviction; or
  2. Resulted in a conviction that was vacated on Appeal; and
  • The person is not currently participating in a pretrial diversion program.
  1. Can you have Pretrial Diversion Records Expunged in Indiana?

Yes.

A Pretrial diversion is a program that was allows someone charged with a crime to avoid having a criminal conviction on their record.  It is usually only available to people charged with a first-time misdemeanor, but may depend on the type of misdemeanor and the person’s criminal background.

To participate in the pretrial diversion program, a person must admit to the crime to which they are being charged.  But, if a person completes all the requirements of the pretrial diversion program, the state will then dismiss the charges against them.

Since the charges against you are dismissed after successfully completing a pretrial diversion program, it is just like an arrest which did not result in a conviction.    So to expunge record of a pretrial diversion, the requirements are the same as for an arrest.  But first, you must complete your pretrial diversion program.  If you have questions about whether you are eligible for an Indiana expungement, you should speak to an Indiana Expungement Lawyer.

  1. Can you have a Misdemeanor Expunged in Indiana?

Absolutely.  All misdemeanor charges can be expunged under Indiana’s Expungement law.  This includes Class D felonies (for any crime committed before July 1, 2014) and Level 6 felonies (for any crimes committed after June 30, 2014) that were reduced to a misdemeanor.

Your misdemeanor conviction WILL be expunged if the court finds:

  • It’s been five (5) years from the date of the conviction;
  • You have no criminal charges pending;
  • You have paid all your fines, fees, court costs, and restitution obligations; and
  • You have not been convicted of a crime within the previous five (5) years.

If it hasn’t been five years from the date of your conviction, then the Indiana Expugnement Law states your misdemeanor can only be expunged if the prosecutor agrees in writing to a shorter period of time.

  1. Can you Get a Felony Expunged in Indiana?

Mostly yes, but it depends on the type of class or level of felony conviction.    Under Chapter 35-38-9 of the Indiana Expungement Law, expungement is not available to sex or violent offenders or persons convicted of official misconduct, homicide offenses, human and sexual trafficking offenses, or sex crimes.

CLASS D or LEVEL 6 FELONY

Your Class D Felony or Level 6 Felony (not reduced to misdemeanor) WILL be expunged if the court finds:

  • It’s been eight (8) years from the date of the conviction;
  • You have no criminal charges pending;
  • You have paid all your fines, fees, court costs, and restitution obligations; and
  • You have not been convicted of a crime within the previous eight (8) years.

If it hasn’t been five years from the date of your conviction, then pursuant to the Indiana Expugnement Law, your felony can only be expunged if the prosecutor agrees in writing to a shorter period of time.

This rule does not apply to certain people as stated in Indiana Code 35-38-9-3(b), including sex offenders and violent offenders.

NON-VIOLENT FELONY

Your Felony conviction, other than a Class D or Level 6 Felony MAY be expunged if the court finds:

  • It’s been eight (8) years from the date of the conviction;
  • You have no criminal charges pending;
  • You have paid all your fines, fees, court costs, and restitution obligations; and
  • You have not been convicted of a crime within the previous eight (8) years.

If it hasn’t been eight years from the date of your conviction, then your felony can only be expunged if the prosecutor agrees in writing to a shorter period of time.

This rule does not apply to certain people as stated in Indiana Code 35-38-9-4(b), including public officials, sex offenders and violent offenders.

As Section 4 of the Indiana Expungement Law deals with more serious crimes, even if you meet all the requirements, the court MAY grant your expungement, but it is not mandatory.  The court may use its discretion.

PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND VIOLENT OFFENDERS

Your Felony conviction, MAY be expunged if the court finds:

  • It’s been ten (10) years from the date of the conviction;
  • You have no criminal charges pending;
  • You have paid all your fines, fees, court costs, and restitution obligations;
  • You have not been convicted of a crime within the previous ten (10) years; and
  • The prosecutor consents in writing to the expungement.

If it hasn’t been ten years from the date of your conviction, then your felony can only be expunged if the prosecutor agrees in writing to a shorter period of time.

This rule does not apply to certain people as stated in Indiana Code 35-38-9-5(b), including sex offenders and persons convicted or two or more felonies involving the unlawful use of a deadly weapon.

As Section 5 of the Indiana Expungement Law deals with violent offenders, it requires the consent of the prosecutor (even if it has been ten years).  Furthermore, even if the prosecutor consented, and you meet all the other requirements, the court MAY grant your expungement, but it is not mandatory.

  1. How Long Does It Take For My Record to Be Expunged?

Once a petition for expungement is filed, it generally takes anywhere from 30-180 days till the court approves the petition.

If the prosecutor doesn’t object to the petition, the court may grant the petition without a hearing.  The Indiana Expungement Statute requires the prosecutor to object to the petition within 30 days of receipt.

If the prosecutor objects to the petition for expungement, Indiana Expungement law requires the trial court to set the matter for hearing not sooner than 60 days.

But even if the prosecutor does not object, the court may still require a hearing.  Its a good idea to have an Indiana Expungement Lawyer present with you at the hearing to advocate on your behalf.

  1. How Many Times Can I Expunge My Record?

Indiana’s Expungement law only allows a person to expunge their criminal record one time in their lifetime.  So, it is important you get it done properly.  We recommend you hire an Indiana Expungement Lawyer to ensure the expungement is done properly.

But, even though you can only expunge records of your criminal convictions once in your life, you can file petitions for different convictions in all counties in Indiana.

The Indiana Expungement Statute states that if you have multiple convictions in one county, you can consolidate all the convictions you wish to expunge into one petition for expungement.  If you have convictions in different Indiana counties, you will need to file separate petitions in each county where you were convicted.

However, all petitions for expungement filed in separate counties for offenses committed in those counties count as one petition if they are filed in a 365-day period.

  1. Does an Indiana Expungement Restore Gun Rights?

Yes.  A conviction that is expunged restores your rights to own a firearm, with one exception.  Indiana Code 35-38-9-6(f) states that if you were convicted of a misdemeanor or felony involving domestic violence, your right to possess a firearm is not restored.

Firearm rights are governed by both federal law and Indiana law.  However, federal law holds that a conviction that has been expunged cannot be considered a conviction for purposes of denying firearm rights under federal law.  The federal government has also held that Indiana’s Expungement law is sufficient in removing the federal firearms prohibition in the Gun Control Act.

In addition to firearm rights, after an expungement you also regain the right to vote, serve as a juror or run for public office.

  1. What is the Cost for an Indiana Expungement?

There are a few costs that are associated with an Indiana Expungement.  There are filing fees for each petition for expungement you file into every county as well as attorneys’ fees if you hire an Indiana Expungement lawyer.

Also, if you haven’t paid the fines, fees, and court costs, and/or satisfied any restitution obligation from the convictions you are trying to expunge, those will have to be paid as well prior to an expungement being granted.

If you are filing a petition to expunge an arrest or pre-trial diversion, there is no filing fee.  For all other cases, the filing fees are generally around $160 for each petition.  So, if you have two convictions in Marion county, the filing fee would be around $160.00 total for both convictions.  But if you have three convictions, one in Marion County, one in Wayne County, and one in Hamilton County, then the filing fees would be around $160 each or about $480 total.

Attorneys’ fees vary from firm to firm, and usually depend on the number of petitions being filed, as well as the county/counties where the petition(s) will be filed.  Some counties require hearings for expungement petitions while other counties may grant the petition without a hearing.

At Avnet Law, we charge a flat fee for filing expungement petitions.  That way, the client will not be billed by the hour.  The fee will cover all the work from the beginning until the petition is granted, including any required hearings.  And you will have the peace of mind knowing that the expungment is being completed by an Indiana Expugnement lawyer who will complete the job properly the first time.

  1. What if my Petition for Expungement is denied?

If your petition for expungement is denied, Indiana’s Expungement law allows a person to file a subsequent petition ONLY regarding one of the convictions that were included in the original petition that was not expunged.   A subsequent petition for expungement cannot include any conviction that was not included on the original petition for expungement.

If the Court denies the petition due to its discretion for a high class or level felony, a subsequent petition can only be filed after three (3) years from the date of the last petition was denied.

Because you only get one shot at an expungement in Indiana, its important you speak to an Indiana Expungment Lawyer.

Schedule a Free Consultation with an Indiana Expungement Lawyer

Indiana’s expungement law offers those who may have made mistakes in the past one (1) chance only to wipe the slate clean.  Since you only have once chance to expunge your criminal record, it is important you get it done right.

Want to know if you qualify for an expungement in Indiana? Click to begin a free no obligation Indiana Expungement Evaluation to determine eligibility.

Avnet Law understands the issues, has the experience, and can advise and represent you in obtaining your expungement.  We also can advise you regarding other criminal law legal issues.

Call 1-877-77-AVNET to Schedule a Free Consultation with an Indiana Expungement Lawyer Today.

By | 2018-10-03T02:45:19+00:00 June 30th, 2018|