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Merrillville Expungement Lawyer

Merrillville Expungement Lawyer

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.

Determining eligibility for expungement is difficult, so if you were convicted of an offense and have questions about expunging your own criminal record, it is important to speak with an experienced Merrillville expungement lawyer who can address your concerns.

Expunging Misdemeanor Convictions

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:

  • At least five years have passed since the conviction;
  • No charges are currently pending against the petitioner;
  • The petitioner has paid all fines and court fees, and has satisfied any restitution ordered as part of his or her sentence; and
  • The petitioner has not been convicted of an offense within the past five years.

If these requirements are met, the court will expunge all conviction records, which includes records contained in:

  • Court files;
  • The files of the Department of Correction;
  • Files held by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles; and
  • Any conviction-related files from those who provided treatment or services to the petitioner.

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.

Non-Violent Felonies

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:

  • No charges are currently pending against them;
  • Their driver’s license has not been suspended;
  • They have successfully completed any terms of supervised release and all other sentence-related obligations; and
  • They have not been convicted of a crime within the last eight years.

As long as these requirements are met, a person can have his or her record expunged, or sealed.

Violent Felonies

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.

Contact an Experienced Merrillville Expungement Lawyer

Please call (219) 865-6262 to consult with one of the dedicated criminal defense attorneys at Tanzillo Stassin & Babcock P.C. Initial consultations are conducted free of charge.

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