When a person is convicted of a criminal offense, it may not have to follow him or her indefinitely. The expungement process allows a person’s arrest or conviction to be removed from his or her criminal record, making it easier for him or her to find employment or attend school.
In Indiana, a person’s criminal record may be eligible for expungement if he or she does not have any charges pending, his or her driver’s license is not suspended and he or she has not been convicted of a crime in the last 5-10 years.
Expungement is not an option for sex offenders, anyone who has committed a violent offense or who was convicted of official misconduct.
Petitioning the court
An individual can petition the court for expungement in the county where the conviction occurred. However, depending on the severity of the crime, there may be a waiting period to submit the petition. For example, serious felonies may require a 10-year waiting period.
Also, he or she can only petition the court once for an expungement which means that he or she should include all convictions at the same time. There is a filing fee, but that may be waived in certain circumstances.
In Indiana, if a person’s criminal record has been expunged, the record may only be released by court order and by law enforcement for specific purposes.
It’s important that the expungement process is completed correctly. If an individual needs assistance, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help.