Your Criminal Record

DO YOU DESERVE A SECOND CHANCE?

In this economy and the atmosphere of today's world what may at the time have seemed to be an unimportant matter or the mistakes of youth can come back to haunt you. Have you had a job you thought you would get fall through due to a prior arrest or conviction? Has your insurance rates gone up do to prior arrest or conviction? Have you been denied a student loan, grant, scholarship or public housing or other benefits due to an arrest or conviction? If you have, the Indiana Legislature has provided a possible second chance.

Under Indiana law, a person who has been arrested and/or convicted can either petition the court to expunge or restrict access to their arrest records. There are three different statutes under which a petition can be filed. Each statute applies to different scenarios.

EXPUNGEMENT

An individual can petition the court to expunge his or her arrest records. An individual is eligible to file a petition for expungement if that individual was arrested but no criminal charges were filed or the criminal charges were dropped because of mistaken identity, no offense was in fact committed, or an absence of probable cause. If the court grants the expungement petition, law enforcement agencies must either destroy or return to the individual all arrest records.

RESTRICT ACCESS TO ARREST RECORDS

An individual who has been arrested but does not qualify for an expungement can now petition the court to restrict access to his or her arrest records. To qualify, the charges brought against the individual must have been dismissed, the individual was acquitted, or the conviction was subsequently vacated. If the court grants the petition, law enforcement agencies are restricted from disclosing the individual's limited criminal history to noncriminal justice organizations or individuals.

RESTRICT ACCESS TO CONVICTION RECORDS

A person convicted of a misdemeanor or a Class D felony can petition the court in to restrict access to their records concerning the arrest and conviction. If the petition is granted and the court orders the records to be restricted, the person can legally say on applications for employment that they have not been arrested or convicted. To qualify, the person must not be a sex or violent offender, the crime they were convicted of must not have caused injury to a person, eight years must have passed since the person completed their sentence and any other obligations imposed by the court, and the person cannot be convicted of a felony since they completed their sentence.

As with all other information contained on this website, you should not consider this legal advice and you should seek advice from a lawyer. Appointments may be arranged to discuss the matter without lawyers but no advice will be given by email.