The Law Office of Jacob Atz is an Indiana law firm and all information contained in this article is based solely upon Indiana law. This article is meant to be informational only and is not legal advice. Please consult an attorney for assistance with your legal matter.
The new Indiana Expungement Law, I.C. 35-38-9-2, became effective July 1, 2013. The Expungement Law provides a means by which persons with certain criminal convictions on their record may petition the Indiana courts to have their criminal record expunged. As it is used in the Indiana statutes, expungement means restricting access to or restricting the use of the person’s records. A person who meets the requirements of the statute is entitled to have the conviction records for most misdemeanor and minor Class D felonies expunged. It may be possible to expunge certain higher felony convictions as well. If the court orders the conviction records for a misdemeanor or minor Class D felony expunged, the records are sealed and excluded from public access. Future access to such sealed court records will be limited to a prosecuting attorney under certain conditions, law enforcement officers acting in the course of the officer’s official duty and the FBI and Department of Homeland Security. Other parties may gain access to the sealed records under certain conditions after petition and hearing with the Indiana court.
Do you have a criminal conviction in your past that has prevented you from gaining employment or housing, or have you been embarrassed by a criminal background check that exposes your criminal record? The new Indiana Expungement Law, or Second Chance Law, was created to provide people like you a means to get a fresh start. If a court orders your criminal record expunged, you may legally claim to the public that you do not have those criminal convictions, as if the conviction never happened. Further, it is illegal for a person to discriminate against another person on the basis of a criminal conviction that has been expunged by an Indiana court.
It is important to understand that you may only seek expungement of your Indiana criminal record once in your lifetime. The process for expungement of your criminal record is very complex and it is recommended that you seek the advice and assistance of an attorney.