The rise in criminal background checks has made life increasingly difficult for those with a criminal history. A criminal record can interfere with your ability to obtain a job, it can restrict your right to own a firearm, make you ineligible for loans, and you can even be denied housing. However, your criminal history does not have to follow you forever. An expungement can help give you a second chance.
In Indiana, you are eligible to expunge a charge or conviction for most offenses. However, expungements are treated differently depending on the seriousness of the offense. Below is an explanation of the requirements for expungement depending on the type of offense involved.
You are eligible to expunge arrests or criminal charges that do not result in a conviction after you satisfy a one-year waiting period from the date of the arrest or charge.
If you were convicted of a misdemeanor or a Level 6 Felony that was later reduced to a misdemeanor, you can have your records expunged if at least five years have passed since the date of conviction. There cannot be any new convictions in the five-year waiting period. Additionally, all fines, fees, court costs, and restitution obligations related to the conviction must be paid.
You may be eligible to expunge Level 6 Felony convictions after you satisfy an eight-year waiting period from the date of your conviction. You must have no subsequent convictions within the eight-year waiting period. Additionally, all fines, fees, court costs, and restitution obligations related to the conviction must be satisfied.
You are eligible to expunge records of Level 5 through Level 1 Felonies after either eight years have passed since the date of your conviction or three years from the date that you completed your sentence. However, unlike the other types of expungements described above, the court has discretion to deny the expungement and a hearing will be required to determine your eligibility.
If you are considering an expungement, but you have not yet met the requisite waiting period, there are still options available to you. If you were convicted of a Level 6 Felony, you may be eligible to have that felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor. Alternatively, the waiting period for expungement can be waived in some circumstances.
The attorneys at Harper & Harper are experienced in navigating the expungement process. If you are tired of having your criminal history follow you, please contact our office at (219) 762-9538 and we can help you rise above the mistakes of your past.
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