The consequences of a criminal record linger long after the direct punishments such as incarceration or fines have ended, according to the US Commission on Civil Rights. These extended penalties can seriously impact an individual’s ability to lead a prosperous and productive life. For some, the legal right to seek expungement of felonies in Indiana offers an avenue to clear your Indiana felony record.
How to Clear Your Indiana Felony Record: Expungement of Felonies in Indiana
Expungement is often associated with arrest records or minor convictions. But even if you are convicted of a felony that was not reduced to a misdemeanor, you may still be eligible to petition the superior or circuit court in the county of your conviction for an expungement. In some felony cases, the court has more discretion when responding to these kinds of petitions, but, nevertheless, expungement is possible.
An Indiana expungement lawyer can help you determine if you are eligible to petition for expungement and can assist you with the legal process of restoring your rights.
The Benefits of Expungement of Felonies in Indiana
Felony conviction records can impact your right to vote, to serve on a jury or in the military, to hold a public office, and even to volunteer at your child’s school. These blemishes on your record also limit your employment and educational opportunities and can prevent you from obtaining a driver’s license or other permits and certifications.
Once a criminal record has been expunged, however, it is unlawful for any person or entity to discriminate against you on the basis of that record. This means that when you clear your Indiana felony record through expungement, your rights are restored, and your past can no longer be held against you.
When Can an Indiana Felony Be Expunged?
The answer to the question “when can an Indiana felony be expunged?” depends on the crime of which you were convicted.
The waiting period to request expungement of a minor Class D or Level 6 felony in Indiana is eight years from the date of conviction unless the prosecuting attorney of the county of conviction has agreed in writing to a lesser time period. For other “less serious” felony convictions, the timeframe is eight years from the date of conviction or three years from completion of the sentence for the conviction. For “certain serious” felony convictions, the timeframe is extended to ten years from the date of conviction or five years from the end of the related sentence.
For minor or less serious cases, you must also not have any additional convictions in the past eight years and cannot have a driver’s license suspension, a pending charge, unpaid fines or fees related to your conviction, or be under criminal investigation.
In cases of serious felony convictions, including crimes committed by elected officials and felonies resulting in serious bodily injury, the prosecuting attorney must agree to the expungement in writing.
So, when can an Indiana felony be expunged? Clearly, the answer to this question depends on many specific factors. An experienced Indiana expungement lawyer is best-suited to assist you in evaluating the necessary timeframes and requirements for your individual case.
What Felonies Cannot Be Expunged in Indiana?
Another important question to address with your Indiana expungement lawyer is “what felonies cannot be expunged in Indiana?” There are various crimes that are automatic disqualifiers. Generally, you will not be able to clear your Indiana felony record if you have been convicted of the following crimes:
- Sex crimes;
- Violent offenses;
- Official misconduct under Indiana Code § 35-44.1-1-1;
- Homicide, murder, or manslaughter;
- Human or sex trafficking; or
- A felony resulting in death.
Additionally, if you have two or more convictions involving the unlawful use of a deadly weapon, it might not be possible to clear your Indiana felony record. All of these types of offenses are very case-specific and require additional information. An Indiana expungement attorney can help you understand what felonies cannot be expunged and what other legal options might be available.
Finding an Indiana Expungement Lawyer to Assist with Expungement of
Felonies in Indiana
Successful expungement of felonies in Indiana requires the knowledge of an experienced criminal lawyer who is familiar with Indiana law, local judicial standards, and the criminal justice system. An Indiana expungement lawyer from Dollard Evans Whalin LLP can help you regain your rights and privileges under the law. If you would like to discuss a petition for expungement in more depth, please contact our office to discuss the matter today by calling (317) 854-5877 or completing our online contact form.