Need a second chance at a clean slate? Is your criminal record keeping you from getting the job you want? Prevented from gaining the certification or license needed for that job? Want that poor college decision off of your record? Expungement may be your answer.
As of July 1, 2015, the Expungement law allows for certain criminal records to be sealed from public access if all the statutory qualifications are met. Expungements may vary from county to county and are very time sensitive. Be wise with your second chance, and contact an attorney prior to filing!
Below is a list of frequently asked questions to assist you. However you will need to consult with an attorney to get information specific to you and your expungement opportunity. Call VanLeeuwen Law today to set up a consultation. We are with you every step of the way!
There are specific requirements that must be met to apply for expungement. All misdemeanors and most felonies may apply. Certain high level crimes such as homicide, crimes with serious bodily injury, and sex related offenses require the consent of the prosecutor or may not qualify at all. An attorney will be able to inform you which process you will need to go through and if you currently qualify.
They can be expunged! Your arrest record is public record and is still searchable by everyone. Employers may still be able to see your arrests or dismissed cases depending on the type of background check they perform. Qualifications of arrest records or dismissed cases require at least one year has passed since the date of arrest and no current pending criminal matters. These types of expungements do not fall under the “once in a lifetime” expungement opportunity and can be filed as soon as you meet the qualifications for each dismissed or non-conviction arrest.
Short answer: Misdemeanor expungements are available after at least 5 years have passed from the date of conviction. Most felonies expungements require at least 8 years from the date of conviction. Some felonies such as sex crimes and serious felonies with bodily injury cannot be expunged or may require consent from the Prosecuting authority after 10 years. An attorney will be able to inform you which process you will need to go through and if you currently qualify.
Short answer: YES. Timing is everything when it comes to Expungements. IMPORTANT! You only get one chance to expunge your record and, if denied, you cannot refile the cases that were previously submitted for a minimum of three years. If you have records across several counties, you must file all petitions for expungement within one year or you will not be able to expunge those records. Please consult an attorney prior to filing. A second chance only happens once!
Files of the Department of Corrections
Files of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles
State Police Central Repository
Files of any other person who provided treatment to the person under court order, such as police agencies, jails, or prisons
Expungement will shield the records from public access. However, law enforcement and prosecutors can still see that a record was expunged. A prosecuting attorney in a criminal proceeding may petition the court to unseal the record which may impact your current case.
Short answer: the length of an expungement case is 1 to 6 months. Certain convictions require the prosecutor to notify victims or object to the expungement. Some expungements will require a hearing with evidence presented, others will not require a hearing. Your involvement also can play a role in the duration of the case. Please be prepared with all of your listed convictions or arrests and dates they happened. If you fill out the expungement petition incorrectly you will not be able to obtain an expungement, but your year filing opportunity begins. Please consult an attorney prior to filing.
If your expungement is granted by the judge, it can take around 1 to 2 months for agencies to update their records upon receiving the signed order. The order should be mailed out to all of the agencies immediately after receiving a granted order. The files are not destroyed, rather they are sealed and removed from public access.
A typical expungement will cost you court filing fees, mailing fees, and attorney’s fees. Filing fees are about $186 depending on county, mailing costs are about $25 +, and attorney’s fees are $750 +. For your case, please consult with an attorney as fees and costs vary based on county and the number and type of cases you want to expunge.
What cases will qualify for expungement in Indiana?
Can I expunge a dismissed case or an arrest with no conviction?
Can I only file one Expungement in a Lifetime?
When can I get an Expungement in Indiana?
What records will be sealed?
Who can access expunged records in Indiana?
How long will an Indiana expungement take?
Where can I look up my convictions?
How long will it take for the Records to be “sealed?”
How much does an expungement cost?