Sometimes people make poor choices. These decisions can create temporary problems or have far-reaching consequences. If you face arrest and jail time, you may feel like your life is over.
Indiana does not believe in holding a mistake against you forever. If you faced arrest or, in some cases, conviction of a crime, there is a chance that you can petition to have the court erase your record. Doing so may wipe the slate clean as if the arrest or subsequent conviction never occurred. Take a look at some facts about how this Second Chance Act works.
Petition to expunge an arrest
Getting arrested for any crime can stay on your criminal record, even if it did not result in a conviction. If your arrest did not result in a conviction, you could get it expunged.
Petition to expunge a misdemeanor
Your record is eligible for expungement if you received a conviction of a misdemeanor crime. The requirements for this include:
- You have no current charges either pending or otherwise
- The conviction occurred at least five years ago
- You paid all court fees, fines and required restitution
- You have not had any subsequent convictions in the past five years
Petition to expunge a felony
Dealing with a felony conviction is a bit different than a misdemeanor, but under the proper circumstances, it, too, is eligible for expungement. Like the misdemeanor requirements, eligibility for expungement hinges on the fact you remain a law-abiding citizen, paid your fines and fulfilled the elements of your conviction. The difference is the timing: eight years for Class D (Level 6) and non-violent felonies, and 10 years for violent offenders and public officials. Some felony convictions remain ineligible for expungement. If you want to know more, check with your attorney to see if you meet the criteria.
Having a clear record can allow you to apply for jobs you otherwise could not. You may also apply to own a firearm again as well. Getting a second chance after an arrest or subsequent conviction is worth pursuing.