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Indiana Expungement Attorneys

Under Indiana’s Second Chance law, expungement is the permanent sealing of a criminal record from public view. If you can have a criminal record expunged, it will not come up on a background check by a school, landlord, employer, or financial institution. This can have profound implications when you are trying to continue your education, obtain a better job, find affordable housing, or get approved for a loan. The only caveat is that the record is not entirely destroyed. It remains available to law enforcement agencies for criminal investigations and proceedings.

If you are interested in learning more about sealing a criminal record, contact an Indiana expungement attorney at GDS Law Group, LLP online or by calling 765-313-7092. We offer free consultations. There are no risks in having a conversation with one of our experienced attorneys about your legal options.

Indiana Expungement Law

Various groups of individuals may be eligible for expungement under Indiana’s Second Chance law (IC §35-38-9). The specific eligibility requirements for expungement will depend on what group you fall into.

  • Not found guilty (IC §35-38-9-1): This includes if your arrest did not result in juvenile adjudication or a conviction, or your arrest resulted in a juvenile adjudication or conviction that was later vacated on appeal.
  • Convicted of a misdemeanor (IC §35-38-9-2): This includes if you were convicted of any misdemeanor offense or a Class D felony that was reduced to a misdemeanor at a later date.
  • Convicted of a non-violent felony (IC §35-38-9-3 and §35-38-9-4): You are not eligible under this group if you were convicted of a sex offense, murder, another violent crime, a felony that resulted in serious bodily injury, human or sexual trafficking, or were convicted while a candidate for or in office as an elected official.
  • Convicted of a violent or sexual felony (IC §35-38-9-5): This includes if you were convicted of a crime as an elected official or candidate or convicted of a felony that caused serious bodily injury. It does not apply to you if you are a sex or violent offender or you were convicted of murder, human or sex trafficking, or a sex offense.

Once you know which classification you fit into, the next step is to speak with an expungement lawyer about whether you meet the other eligibility criteria. For each group, there is a period of time you must wait before you can seek expungement. You must have successfully completed your sentence, if convicted. You must also not have pending criminal charges. At GDS Law Group, LLP, we will review your record and determine whether you are eligible for expungement now or in the future.

Expunging an Arrest Record

If you have a record of an arrest that never led to charges or a conviction (or the conviction was vacated), then one year after your arrest, you can petition the court to expunge the court records and any other related administrative records.

With no conviction on your record, the expungement process may be relatively easy. However, there is no way to know for sure until you speak with an expungement attorney for Indiana. One of our lawyers at GDS Law Group, LLP will thoroughly review your situation and determine whether you are eligible to seal the record, and if so, what the process looks like.

Expunging a Misdemeanor Conviction

If you want to seal a misdemeanor conviction, you must wait at least five years from the date of your conviction before you can appeal, unless the prosecuting attorney agrees to an earlier petition. For your petition to be approved, you must prove you:

  • Completed all portions of your sentence,
  • Have not been convicted of any other crime in the previous 5 years,
  • Do not have any charges pending, and
  • You do not have a current or pending driver’s license suspension.

If you have one misdemeanor conviction you would like to put behind you, call us at GDS Law Group, LLP today. We will determine whether you are likely to win a petition for expungement. If so, we will efficiently guide you through this legal process.

Expunging a Low-Level, Non-Violent Felony

If you were convicted of a Class D/Level 6 felony or a different level non-violent felony, you should contact an expungement attorney. For Class D/Level 6 felonies, you must wait at least eight years from the date of your conviction before you can petition a court for expungement. If you are interested in expunging another level of a non-violent felony, you must wait at least eight years from the date of conviction or three years from the date you completed your sentence.

You will need to prove you:

  • Completed all portions of your sentence, including paying all fines, fees, and court costs,
  • Have not been convicted of any other crime in the previous 8 years, and
  • Do not have any charges pending.

If you have a felony conviction, the expungement process may be more complex. We will review your circumstances in regard to the law to determine if you are eligible or not. If you are eligible and it has been a long enough period of time, we can get started with the process for you.

Expunging a More Serious Felony

If you have been convicted of a serious felony and you are wondering whether you are eligible to seal the record of your conviction, speak with one of our Indiana expungement attorneys right away. Eligibility for expungement of a serious felony is very limited and we must know your exactly conviction to determine if this process is available to you or not.

If it appears you are eligible to seal the record of a serious felony conviction, and it has been either 10 years from the date of your conviction or five years from the time you completed your sentence, then we can represent you in this process. You must prove you:

  • Completed all portions of your sentence, including paying all fines, fees, and court costs,
  • Have not been convicted of any other crime in the previous 10 years, and
  • Do not have any charges pending.

You face an additional and challenging step as well. You must obtain the prosecuting attorney’s consent to the expungement in writing. This is an intimidating thing to ask a prosecutor, which is why you should not try and go through this process alone. Let an experienced attorney from GDS Law Group, LLP help and increase your chance of success.

The Expungement Process

At GDS Law Group, LLP, we will guide you through the expungement process step by step, which includes:

  • Completing the petition and obtaining any necessary documents to attach.
  • Filing the petition and the necessary copies with the clerk’s office in the county where you live.
  • Pay the filing fee, if required, or request a fee waiver.
  • Obtaining a case number.
  • Obtaining a hearing date.
  • Attending a hearing, if necessary.

If you meet all of the eligibility criteria and the prosecutor does not object, a judge can grant you an expungement without a hearing. However, the judge may require a hearing. Also, a hearing will be set if a prosecutor objects to your petition. In these situations, we will prepare you for the hearing and present your case to the judge.

If you obtain an expungement, we will also help you seal all of the relevant records related to your arrest or conviction, including the records stored outside of the courthouse, which can be a multi-step process.

Cost to Expunge a Record in Indiana

The cost to expunge a criminal record in Indiana varies based on your circumstances. There is no fee to file a petition to seal an arrest record. For all other petitions, there will be a court filing fee, which will vary depending on your home county’s fee schedule. The filing fee can be a few hundred dollars. If you cannot afford the filing fee, we can review your eligibility for a fee waiver. Make an appointment with an expungement lawyer to discuss the cost of expunging your criminal record.

Let Our Indiana Expungement Attorneys Help You

If you are interested in expunging one or more records regarding arrests or convictions, you need to speak with a lawyer. Eligibility for sealing various records can be confusing, and a lawyer experienced with the expungement process will be best able to tell you whether you qualify or not. If you are eligible, then a lawyer will knows all of the ins and outs of the legal process, including filling out the petition properly and filing it correctly with the right county clerk. If you must go to a hearing, you will need a lawyer who can stand up before a judge and present a strong and comprehensive argument regarding why your records should be sealed.

To learn more about the Indiana expungement process or your other options for improving your situation, such as having a felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor, contact GDS Law Group, LLP online or call us at 765-313-7092. We offer free consultations.