Being convicted of a crime can have devastating repercussions, especially for youthful offenders, who may find it difficult to secure employment or find housing. Fortunately, in 2011, the Indiana Legislature passed a law that permits certain individuals to seal portions of their criminal record, a process known as expungement. While expungement does not permanently erase a person’s criminal history, it does restrict access to it, which means that no record of conviction will show up on criminal history checks conducted by noncriminal justice organizations or private individuals.
Although misdemeanor offenses are not considered to be as serious as felonies, they still remain on a person’s permanent criminal record and can affect employment opportunities and housing options. Fortunately, in Indiana, those who are convicted of misdemeanors are often able to apply for expungement, as long as:
If these requirements are met, the court will expunge all conviction records, which includes records contained in:
It is important to note that while non-criminal organizations and employers will not have access to these records, criminal justice agencies, such as law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and courts will still be able to view the records.
It is also possible for those who have been convicted of non-violent felonies to have their records expunged, although they must wait eight years before they can petition the court. They must also be able to provide the court with convincing evidence that:
As long as these requirements are met, a person can have his or her record expunged, or sealed.
Although it is generally more difficult to expunge a criminal record after being convicted of a violent felony, it is possible. However, petitioners will need to demonstrate that ten years have passed since conviction and that during that time, they were not convicted of any other crimes. Finally, the prosecuting attorney must also consent to the expungement in writing.