Indianapolis Expungement Lawyer

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Get Help With Your Expungement Today

Clearing your criminal record is more than a legal task—it’s a crucial step towards securing your future. The process of expungement can be complex and intimidating, but with an experienced Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer, you can navigate it with confidence.

At Hessler Law, we’re dedicated to helping you achieve a clean slate. Have questions? We’re here to provide answers and peace of mind.

Call (317) 886-8800 to arrange your free consultation today.

Understanding Expungements in Indiana

A criminal record can follow you for the rest of your life. An expungement seals your record from public view. Your criminal history will not show up if someone, such as an employer, landlord, or financial institution, runs a background check on you.

Who Is Eligible for An Expungement?

In Indiana, eligibility for expungement is based on the crime you were convicted for and whether the applicable waiting period of one to eight years has passed since conviction. In some cases, you can reduce the waiting period with written permission from the county prosecutor.

Individuals who were convicted may be eligible to apply for expungement. People arrested but not convicted or had their convictions vacated may also have their records expunged. Expungement is automatic in cases where a person was arrested, but charges were never brought, or they were acquitted of the crime.

Our Indianapolis defense attorney can evaluate your case and help you determine if your record is eligible for expungement and how to reach that goal.

Which Records Can Be Expunged in Indiana?

Records of misdemeanor and felony crimes reduced to misdemeanors can be expunged in Indiana. Level 6 felonies, the least serious category of felony, which include driving under the influence, theft, and drug possession, may be expunged.

To be eligible to have these crimes expunged, you must have served your sentence and paid your fines for the crime, you cannot have any pending charges for other criminal offenses against you, you cannot be in a pre-trial diversion program, and you must not be convicted for another crime within one year of applying to seal your records.

Requirements to Expunge Serious Felonies

The requirements to have more serious Level 1- Level 5 felonies expunged are the same as those above. In addition, you must get approval from the county prosecutor.

What Crimes Cannot Be Expunged?

Offenses that cannot be expunged include convictions for homicide and other violent crimes, sex crimes, human trafficking, felony perjury, and crimes committed while serving as a public official. Additionally, convictions for two separate felony crimes involving deadly weapons are not eligible for expungement.

If you committed an ineligible crime for expungement, even though your record can’t be sealed, Hessler Law can explore your case to help mitigate the fallout caused by your past.

Steps to Filing for Expungement in Indiana

There are several steps to take when filing for expungement. You will need to:

  • Collect all documents related to your criminal record
  • Fill out the expungement petition
  • File the petition with the appropriate court in the county where you were convicted.

While these steps may sound simple, they often are not. The petition requires detailed and complex legal and personal information. If you file the petition with the court and the required information is missing or inaccurate, your expungement could be delayed or even denied.

For these reasons, it is in your vital interest to work with a well-informed Indianapolis expungement lawyer who will ensure the accuracy and completeness of your application for record sealing.

Indiana Expungement FAQ’s

How Can an Indianapolis Expungement Lawyer Help My Case?

Filling out an expungement petition is hard work and can be stressful. An Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer with an in-depth understanding of the state’s expungement laws can be your effective guide throughout the process, reducing your stress and anxiety.

Your attorney can evaluate whether your records qualify for expungement, gather all the relevant documentation for your petition, and ensure that all required information is included, giving you the best chance of having your record sealed so you can move on from your past.

Will an Expungement Completely Erase My Record?

Expungement does not entirely erase a criminal record. Your records will not be destroyed or obliterated. Instead, in an expungement, records are sealed so employers and others can’t see them.

However, there are circumstances prosecutors and law enforcement officials can access them, including if you are arrested for another crime.

How Many Crimes Can Be Expunged from a Record?

If you have more than one conviction from the same county that you wish to have expunged, you must file a single petition to have all of them sealed. You will need to include the required documentation and information for each conviction.

If you have crimes in more than one county that you want expunged, you would file a petition with the appropriate court in each county. Your attorney can assist you with identifying courts and petition filing.

How Does Expungement Affect My Right to Vote or Own Firearms?

Expungement can restore rights that were lost due to a criminal conviction, such as voting rights. However, the restoration of firearm rights depends on the nature of the crime and other legal considerations.

It’s important to discuss with your Indianapolis defense lawyer how expungement might affect your specific rights and privileges.

Are Juvenile Records Treated Differently When It Comes to Expungement?

Juvenile records are often eligible for expungement under different rules than adult criminal records. In many cases, juvenile records are automatically sealed once the individual reaches adulthood, but this can vary by state and the nature of the offense. If you have a juvenile record, an attorney can help you understand the specific laws in Indiana and whether action is needed on your part to seal or expunge these records.

What Recourse Do I Have If My Petition Is Denied?

If your petition is denied, you could file an appeal if there are grounds to do so. We can help you determine whether you have grounds for an appeal, such as if the court abused its discretion in denying expunging your record.

If there are no grounds for appeal, you can wait three years and then file your petition again to seal the records of the conviction in your original application.