Indiana Criminal Defense Overview

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Despite the fear and anxiety, you have to do your best to move forward and handle the situation you are in. Some criminal offenses result in minor penalties, but other criminal convictions bring with them prison sentences, significant fines, and other collateral consequences.

Consequences of a Criminal Record

Whether you feel like the punishment will likely be severe or light, the truth is that a conviction carries with it a permanent criminal record – something that could affect you the rest of your life.

A criminal record can affect:

  • Applying to college or graduate school
  • Seeking a professional license, such as becoming a doctor
  • Receiving federal financial aid
  • Applying for jobs
  • Getting a commercial driver’s license
  • Seeking a promotion
  • Applying for an immigration visa, green card, or citizenship
  • Applying for safe and affordable rental housing
  • Becoming a foster parent
  • Child custody and visitation

Other Collateral Consequences

Whether you are convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony, you will have to deal with more than the statutory penalties. In addition to jail time and a fine, you may have to follow the rules of probation. Being on probation restricts your rights and your movements. There are 23 conditions the courts can impose on you, including any of the following:

  • Receiving psychiatric treatment
  • Staying employed
  • Paying restitution to victims of your crime
  • Routinely checking in with a probation officer
  • Possibility to pay for the costs associated with your own supervision

A felony conviction brings with it other consequences. You aren’t allowed to vote during time in prison. You can’t hold certain federal jobs. You also lose your right to own firearms. Any type of criminal charge could come with too many statutory and collateral penalties to be handled on your own. That’s where we come in.

Expunging Your Record in Indiana

Indiana law allows for certain records to be expunged. This is generally thought of as sealing your records. If an arrest or a conviction is expunged, you don’t have to claim it on applications or tell future employers about it.

You may have a criminal record because you were arrested for a crime but never formally charged. In this case, you can file to have your record expunged if you can show that you didn’t commit the crime, there was no probably cause to believe you committed the crime, or that there was a case of mistaken identity.

For misdemeanors, you can ask for an expungement 5 years after you were convicted, as long as you haven’t had any other convictions or there are no charges pending. You are only able to ask the course for an expungement once.

Class D felonies are treated differently than non-violent Class A, B, and C felonies. Class D felonies need to wait 8 years after their convictions, have no other convictions or pending charges, and not have a suspended license. For the other felonies, you must wait 8 years or 3 years after you complete your sentence, whichever is later. You can’t have any other convictions or pending charges and not have a suspended license. Expungements aren’t available for sexual offenses.

Expungements are not automatic, and even if you properly file for an expungement with the court, they are not guaranteed.

Key Topics Related to Indiana Criminal Defense Cases

At Hessler Law, we offer relevant information related to criminal charges in the state of Indiana. Don’t see the information you need? Let us know. Free phone consultations are available when you contact us today.

  • Indiana Criminal Court Process — When you enter the Indiana criminal court process, it can be a complicated procedure. We have decades of experience providing winning defense in the Indianapolis court system.
  • Probation Violations — Probation violations need to be taken just as seriously as allegations of committing a crime. If you’ve been arrested or issued a summons for a probation violation, you likely have questions. Learn your options.

How Our Defense Can Help

Get a lawyer for a misdemeanor conviction. At Hessler Law, we have a track record of successfully defending people charged of crimes in Indianapolis and the surrounding areas. We’ve worked on both sides of the process — both prosecution and defense — and work diligently to ensure that the people we defend get due process in court. We will meet with you one-on-one and get to know you. We will not only learn about your case and history, but we’ll investigate the circumstances. Through the discovery process, we will gather information from the prosecution and possibly other witnesses and organizations. Once we know what we’re up against, we can figure out the strongest possible defense for you situation.

Throughout this experience we will maintain consistent communication with you. You’ll never feel like you’re in the dark or worried because you aren’t sure what comes next. To receive a free phone consultation today, call (317) 886-8800.

This website is intended for informational purposes only. Use of this website does not create an attorney-client relationship.

An Aggressive Defender Against Your Charges

At Hessler Law, Sean is an experienced Indianapolis criminal defense attorney who understands that you don’t need just any lawyer to show up for you in court.

You need someone who will tenaciously fight to protect your rights and your freedom. Someone who will learn every facet of your case in order to show deficiencies in the prosecutor’s case and build the strongest defense possible under the law. You deserve strong legal representation and that is what Hessler Law delivers.