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Article Summary

Expunging a record is an important step for an individual who is trying to move forward with their lives. This article addresses the basic questions that arise while navigating the expungement process, including the following topics:  

  • What is an expungement?  
  • How do you expunge a juvenile record?  
  • How do you expunge a misdemeanor or a felony conviction?  
  • Can you expunge a DUI?
  • How many times can you ask the court to expunge your record?  
  • Does an expungement affect an individual’s immigration status?  
  • How long does it take to expunge a criminal record?  
  • How much does it cost to expunge a criminal record?  

The expungement process may seem simple, but there are many facts that can complicate the process. It is important to have an Indiana expungement attorney by your side to guide you through the process.

INDIANA EXPUNGEMENT FAQ

Everyone makes mistakes. Unfortunately, some mistakes result in criminal convictions that can haunt someone for the rest of their life. However, in Indiana and many other states, after a specific amount of time and with certain crimes, criminal convictions can be expunged from your record, or your record can be sealed. The following article will answer the most frequently asked questions regarding expunging and sealing your record. However, hiring an experienced Indiana expungement attorney to guide you through the expungement process will ensure that you can move forward with your life with a clean slate.  

What Does Expunge Mean?

In the legal context, expunge means removing an arrest or conviction from an individual’s personal public criminal record. If an employer, a creditor, or any other entity looks at an individual’s criminal background, the arrest or conviction will not appear in their search.    

How Do You Have Your Juvenile Record Permanently Destroyed Your Record in Indiana?

All juvenile records can be destroyed as long as the judge allows them to be destroyed, including cases where an individual was sentenced to probation or jail time. To request that your records are permanently destroyed, you must go to the court clerk’s office where the charges were filed and ask for an expungement form. After you complete the form, you must return the form to the court clerk. This process does not cost any money.  

Next, the judge will review the form. Often, the judge will request a hearing. If the judge requires a hearing, you will receive a letter in the mail with all of the hearing information. Your request will likely be denied if you do not attend the hearing. There are several factors that a judge considers when determining whether to allow the destruction of juvenile records: type of criminal charges, the facts of each case, the progress that has been made since your last appearance in court, any criminal charges since the juvenile charges and why you want your records destroyed.  

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How Do You Seal a Juvenile Record in Indiana?  

A juvenile record can be sealed if you did not end up with an adjudication after an arrest or juvenile court case. The qualifying instances include:

  • An arrest where you did not have to appear in court.
  • A dismissed case.
  • A case where you were found not guilty.

An individual must wait at least one year before requesting a record to be sealed.  

To request that your records are sealed, you must go to the court clerk’s office where the charges were filed and ask for an expungement form. After you complete the form, you must return the form to the court clerk. This process does not cost any money. A judge will then review your petition and determine whether your petition meets all of the requirements.  

To ensure that your petition meets all requirements, it is best to consult with an Indiana expungement attorney.  

How to Expunge Your Record in Indiana?  

To expunge a criminal record in Indiana, one must first file a petition with the court or request that the judge review their circumstances. From there, the judge will either grant the expungement based on the expungement or request a hearing. If a hearing is requested, an individual must produce witnesses and documents supporting their petition and the necessity of an expungement.  

Can a Misdemeanor Be Expunged?  

Yes. A misdemeanor can be expunged; this includes felony charges that have been reduced to misdemeanors as part of a plea agreement. An individual must wait five years from the conviction date before requesting their record to be expunged. To be eligible for expungement, an individual must not have additional criminal charges pending, must have paid all fines and fees, and must not have committed another crime during the five-year time period.  

It is best to have an Indiana expungement attorney by your side to ensure that you meet all the qualifications for an expungement.    

Can a Felony Be Expunged?  

Yes. Some felonies can be expunged. However, some crimes are ineligible for expungement, including sex crimes, violent crimes, crimes resulting in bodily injury to another person, homicide, and human trafficking.  

For most felonies, an individual must wait eight years after conviction to request an expungement. However, for some violent felonies, with the consent of the prosecutor, the individual must wait ten years before requesting a conviction to be expunged. For a felony to be expunged, the individual must not have additional criminal charges pending, must have paid all fines and fees, and must not have committed another crime during the eight-year or ten-year period.  

It is best to have an Indiana expungement attorney by your side to ensure that you meet all the qualifications for an expungement.    

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Can a DUI be Expunged?

Yes. A DUI can be expunged in Indiana. The length of time necessary before requesting an expungement is based on whether the DUI conviction is a misdemeanor or a felony. If the DUI conviction is a misdemeanor, the individual must wait five years before requesting an expungement. If the DUI conviction is a felony, the individual must wait eight years or ten years, depending on the facts of the case. Additionally, the individual must meet all other qualifications required for other misdemeanor and felony expungements.  

How Many Times Can I Request That My Record is Expunged?  

An individual can only request that their record is expunged one time. If your first expungement request is denied, you must wait three years until you can re-request an expungement of your record. If there are multiple charges in multiple counties, a petition for expungement must be filed for each charge within one year. Otherwise, those charges cannot be expunged.  

Can Immigration See Your Expunged Records?  

No matter the situation, expungement is a good idea and will not negatively affect your immigration status. However, if during the immigration process you are asked if you have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime, you will have to answer “yes.” While an expungement erases the crime from the public record, it does not erase the fact that you were arrested or convicted of a criminal charge.  

Who Can See Expunged Records?  

Expungement allows for certain criminal records to be sealed from public access. However, law enforcement and prosecutors can still view an expunged record. A prosecutor can petition the court to unseal the record if you are arrested on a new criminal charge.  

How Much Does It Cost to Get Your Record Expunged?  

Generally, there are minimal costs to filing a request for expungement. The costs will come from attorney's fees. However, despite the cost, an experienced expungement attorney must ensure that the expungement process proceeds as smoothly as possible. Moving forward with the rest of your life is worth the cost of an attorney.  

How Long Does It Take to Expunge a Record?  

A prosecutor has thirty days to respond to an individual’s request for an expungement. However, if a prosecutor requests an extension, that will often be granted. Generally, the entire expungement process takes a few months. The length of time varies based on whether or not the prosecutor objects to the expungement, if a hearing is required and if the court wants to hear from various witnesses.  

Posted 
September 22, 2022
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