Commitment To Justice

When can people expunge or seal a criminal record?

On Behalf of | May 4, 2022 | Expungements

When people are convicted of crimes in Indianapolis they may face serious punishments. They may have to pay fines, spend time in jail, complete hours of community service and be placed on probation. However, as many people find out, the punishments do not necessarily end when people serve their time and are released from probation. Criminal records stay with people as they move on in life and they can show up on background checks.

This means that they can affect people’s ability to find jobs or potentially rent apartments. These consequences are not part of the criminal sentence, but sometimes can cause people as many problems as their criminal sentence. People may be able to seek expungements of their criminal records though, if they meet certain requirements. The main requirement is the amount of time that has elapsed since the time of the conviction and the level of offense.

Time requirements for expungements

  • If there was only an arrest or criminal charge, but no conviction, then people need to wait one year after the arrest or criminal charge before petitioning for an expungement
  • If people are convicted of a misdemeanor, they must wait at least five years after their conviction to petition for expungement. This also includes certain Class D felonies (for a crime committed before July 1, 2014) and certain Level 6 felonies (for a crime committed after June 30, 2014) that were reduced to misdemeanors.
  • If the Class D felony (for a crime committed before July 1, 2014) or Level 6 felony (for a crime committed after June 30, 2014) was not reduced to a misdemeanor people must wait eight years before petitioning.
  • If the conviction was for a less serious felony other than Class D (for a crime committed before July 1, 2014) and Level 6 felonies (for crimes committed after June 30, 2014), people must wait eight years after the conviction and at least three years after completion of the criminal sentence
  • For serious felonies, people need to wait 10 years after the conviction and at least five years after the completion of the sentence.

In addition to waiting the number of years indicated above, people in Indiana also need to not have any new crimes during the waiting periods to qualify for expungement. Expungements can be very valuable to people and experienced attorneys understand the requirements needed for people to move on with life without the conviction continuing to affect them long after serving their sentence.