Indiana passed a law in 2015 regarding the eligibility of some individuals for an expungement of their criminal records. The old rule regarding expungement was extremely harsh—only charges resulting in a dismissal, acquittal, or conviction that is later made void were eligible for restriction from public records. No one who was actually found guilty of a crime was eligible to have his or her record expunged.
The new law went into effect July 1, 2015. It allows individuals who have made a mistake in the past a second chance to start again. Specifically, it is tailored to give people a chance to find better employment opportunities after having committed a crime and served a punishment.
Each local court and local law enforcement agency interprets the new law a little differently. They have all adopted their own standard procedures on what to do when an expungement is granted. The first version of the law only allowed for a sealing of conviction records. The 2013 version changed “sealing” to “destroying” criminal records and all supporting investigative records. The 2015 version is more like the original in that no files are actually destroyed; they are merely permanently hidden from public view.
If an expungement petition is filed and granted concerning an arrest or criminal charges that didn’t result in conviction, all information of the arrest, criminal charges, juvenile delinquency allegations, vacated conviction, or vacated juvenile delinquency allegations are removed from the Alphabetically Arranged Criminal History Information System maintained by the Indiana State Police and local law enforcement agencies.
If a person files a petition to expunge a D felony or misdemeanor conviction, all records and any agency concerned with the investigation and prosecution of the crime is prohibited from releasing expunged information to any person other than a law enforcement officer doing his or her job in an investigation.
For more severe crimes, such as Class 1 through 5 felonies and Class 6 felonies involving bodily injury, the offender can only get an expungement by consent of the prosecutor. If a petition is granted by the court, the records remain public but must be marked “expunged.”
If you’re interested in seeing if your record can be expunged, don’t hesitate to give our skilled Muncie criminal defense attorneys a call. Brooke-Stevens, PC is dedicated to helping people get back on their feet. Let us see what we can do for you and your case.
Contact us by phone or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.