If you have a criminal record in Indiana due to a conviction for an offense you committed, you are certainly aware of the negative impact it can have on your life. You may miss out on many promising opportunities because your prior conviction continues to follow you into the future, where you are asked about it on job applications and other disclosures.
The good news is that expungement is one way to erase your criminal record in Indiana. While expungement is not available for all offenses, it may be an option in your particular case.
Expungement for arrest or conviction
The first thing to examine is whether you are trying to clean your record of an arrest or multiple arrests without conviction, or if you need to erase crimes for which you received a conviction. You can petition the courts to have an arrest record without conviction sealed/expunged as well as petition to have misdemeanor and felony convictions expunged. The court will hold a hearing to determine whether to grant the expungement. If you are not represented by an attorney, the process can be very complex, and you may need to study Indiana statutory provisions and Rules of Trial Procedure.
Years following conviction before petition
Indiana courts have various requirements that you must meet in order to receive an expungement. The number of years that have to pass before you can petition to have your criminal record sealed varies depending on the conviction you wish to erase. For example, for a misdemeanor conviction, you must wait at least five years after the date of conviction. If you wish to have an arrest record sealed, however, you can petition the court after one year, and the court will grant the petition if you meet the necessary conditions.
Expunging your criminal record in Indiana can help give you a fresh start so that your prior conviction does not continue to haunt you and prevent you from moving forward successfully.