Common Questions About Expungement

Criminal Defense
Common Questions About Expungement

July 25, 2022

A criminal conviction will follow you for the rest of your life unless you move to seal your record. Indiana’s Second Chance Law allows those who have been convicted of certain offenses to seal their criminal record. This prevents the information from appearing on criminal background checks or prevents the information from being used against you. If a past indiscretion has been costing you employment or apartment opportunities, a Fort Wayne defense attorney can help you make a clean break from your past and prevent it from damaging your future.

How Do Expungements Help?

In Indiana, your record can never be fully expunged but rather sealed from employers and landlords who make decisions based on criminal background checks. The record will still be visible to law enforcement agencies and the courts. Landlords, licensing authorities, and employers, however, will be prevented from accessing those records. Further, you do not have to admit to a criminal conviction that you have had expunged. In other words, if an employer asks about your criminal record, you do not have to admit to the conviction after the expungement.

What Criminal Records Can be Expunged?

Not all criminal convictions can be expunged. In the instance of sex crimes, murder, or other violent felonies, expungement is prohibited. Nonetheless, even if you are arrested for public drunkenness and never convicted, the arrest will remain a part of your record. You do not even need to be charged! Convictions are harder to expunge, but most misdemeanor offenses are expugnable. Felonies are more difficult to expunge, require a longer waiting period, and sometimes require special consideration by the prosecuting attorney. 

Is There a Waiting Period for Expungement?

Yes. The waiting period for arrests and charges that did not result in a conviction is one year. The waiting period for felonies reduced to misdemeanors is five years. For low-level felonies, the waiting period is eight years. For major felonies, the waiting period is eight years following the conviction or three years after the completion of your sentence, whichever is greater. 

Other Conditions That Apply to Expungement

Those requesting expungement must be in good standing with the courts. In other words, all of their obligations to their original case must be met. Further, there must be no open cases with the court and no confrontations with law enforcement during the waiting period. In the case of certain violent felonies, a prosecutor’s approval will be necessary before an expungement can be given.

How Do I Get an Expungement?

Your first step is to contact a Fort Wayne expungement attorney. We can walk you through the process of getting your record sealed. Call The Bellinger Law Office today to discuss the matter in greater detail and be free of your past indiscretions once and for all. 

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Robert H. Bellinger



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