Indiana Arrest & Criminal Record Expungement

Indiana allows most people to clear their records of arrests that did not result in convictions and of criminal offenses for which they have fully served their sentences. These opportunities are not available to individuals convicted on violent, sexual, perjury, or public corruption charges, but even people with major felonies related to other offenses can clear their records if they meet strict requirements.

Working through the expungement process with an experienced Evansville, IN, criminal appeals attorney is a good idea because each type of case requires filing different forms, meeting particular timelines, and presenting unique forms of evidence that show the petitioner has earned the right to have their record with the state destroyed or sealed.

For instance, in order to expunge the record of an arrest that did not lead to a conviction or of a conviction that was later vacated on appeal, a suspect must wait at least one full year before filing the expungement petition. The request must go directly to the court that holds jurisdiction over both the geographic area where the arrest took place and the offense alleged. The court will accept only one kind of form for the arrest record expungement request, and the court will automatically reject that request if any of the requested information is missing or incomplete.

By comparison, expunging a low-level felony requires submitting a different form to a specific circuit or superior court after waiting eight years following the conviction. The wait time can be shortened if the prosecutor who secured the conviction agrees to this in writing and if all the terms of the sentence are fulfilled. The expungement petition must be accompanied by evidence of being released from imprisonment or house arrest, completing parole, paying all fines and restitution, and going eight years since reentering society without getting arrested for or convicted of a new offense. The court that receives a properly filed felony expungement petition can then hold a hearing at which a legal advocate for the petitioner may be allowed to speak.

An expunged arrest record is destroyed at the state level, meaning no one will ever be able to access it by looking through state databases. Any expunged arrest records retained by local law enforcement agencies remain permanently sealed.

Conviction records that get expunged are retained but sealed at the state level, and the court’s order to keep the information out of public view applies to court, jail/prison, state hospital, and Bureau of Motor Vehicles records related to the offense. Only a later court order issued to a law enforcement official or an attorney involved in an ongoing case can unseal an expunged conviction record.

Receiving an arrest record or conviction expungement can open up job, education, and financial opportunities unavailable to individuals who must disclose criminal histories. Consulting with Evansville Indiana, criminal defense attorney Jay Ziemer before beginning to seek an expungement can help you avoid mistakes that will derail your petition and also gain you an ally as you proceed through a process that can be long and stressful. To schedule an appointment, call (812) 568-4118 or contact Ziemer Law, LLC online.