How long does a misdemeanor stay on your record?

On Behalf of | Aug 31, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Misdemeanors are less serious offenses compared to felonies, but they can still have an impact on your record and future opportunities.

You might receive a misdemeanor charge for offenses such as petty theft, disorderly conduct or certain types of vandalism. Knowing how long a misdemeanor will remain on your record can help you understand what steps to take next.

Duration of misdemeanor records

In Indiana, how long a misdemeanor remains on your record depends on the classification of the crime. There are three main classes of misdemeanors in the state:

  • Class A Misdemeanors: These are the most serious misdemeanors and can stay on your record for up to five years. Examples of Class A misdemeanors include criminal mischief and certain drug possession offenses.
  • Class B Misdemeanors: The record of a Class B misdemeanor is eligible for expungement after two years. Class B misdemeanors include offenses such as public intoxication and possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Class C Misdemeanors: Class C misdemeanors are eligible for expungement after just one year. These include less severe offenses such as trespassing and simple assault.

Expungement brings a fresh start

Expungement is the process of sealing a person’s criminal record, allowing them a fresh start without the burden of past misdemeanor offenses. Not all misdemeanors are eligible for expungement, and you must meet certain conditions to qualify.

Research suggests that misdemeanors comprise approximately 80% of all arrests in the United States. Many people live with the consequences of misdemeanor offenses, whether as a result of a lapse in judgment or a wrongful conviction. By understanding when you can clear a misdemeanor from your record, you can prepare to move on with a clean slate.

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