To learn more about getting an expungement in Indiana, contact a criminal defense attorney that specializes in expungements who can explain the process fully. While Indiana expungement attorneys cannot legally remove your criminal records from public access, he or she can advise you of your rights and options and help you prepare your expungement petition. Expungement is not a guaranteed procedure; the success of your petition depends on many factors including the nature of the crime you were charged with and any objections that might be filed by the prosecutor’s office. A certified Indiana expungement attorney will have more information about the specific requirements of your particular case. If you have questions about your eligibility for an expungement, call Gemma & Karimi, LLP, expert Indiana expungement attorney at 317-602-5970 or email us to connect with an attorney immediately.
Indiana’s Second Chance Law
Indiana has one of the most liberal expungement laws in the United States If you have criminal convictions or arrests that you want to have taken off the public record, the laws have just changed in your favor. You may be able to have your criminal conviction record expunged, even if you multiple have misdemeanor and felony convictions across several counties. Here are some of the specifics about filing an expungement petition under the Indiana expungement law.
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
An Indiana criminal record is eligible for expungement for the conviction of a misdemeanor crime. The requirements for a misdemeanor expungement include:
- No current charges either pending or otherwise
- The conviction is at least five years old
- Court fees, fines and required restitution amounts are all paid in full
- No subsequent convictions in the past five year period
Petition to Expunge a Felony
Dealing with a felony conviction is a bit different than a misdemeanor, but under the proper circumstances, it is also eligible for expungement. Misdemeanor expungement requirements include:
- Expungement eligibility is dependent if no additional laws are broken
- Fines, court costs and restitution are paid in full.
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. Finally, there are some violent felony convictions are ineligible for record expungement. For more information, it is important to speak to an expungement attorney Central Indiana as soon as possible.
Petition to Seal Arrest Records
Attorneys Ron Gemma and Kevin Karimi successfully help many individuals in multiple Indiana counties file petitions to expunge criminal records under Indiana’s Expungement Law. From simple arrests that did not result in convictions, to misdemeanors and major felonies convictions, Gemma and Karimi Law can help you erase your past. Get the Fresh Start YOU Deserve, call the best Indiana expungement attorneys for your case today.
Benefits of a Criminal Record Expungement
We at Gemma & Karimi, LLP understand how difficult it can be to obtain housing, government funding, own a weapon for self-defense or even secure gainful employment in this already tough economy with a criminal conviction.
Many employers conduct criminal background checks on potential employees and are often reluctant to hire anyone with a criminal record. If your record is expunged, an individual can lawfully answer “no” the prior criminal conviction question.
Obtain Certain Type of Housing
In today’s society, landlords, frequently conduct background checks on potential tenants. If a potential landlord learns about a criminal indiscretion of the past, he/she may either deny rental or even charge a higher rent and/or deposit.
Get a Loan
Taking out a loan may help jump start life after serving a sentence, however, some loan agencies believe those with criminal records will have a hard time paying back their loans. This belief could lead to a loan application denial, high-interest rates or additional underwriting requirements.
Civil Rights Restored
After all outstanding felonies are expunged, the individual with the expunged record can apply to own a firearm, as if there was never a felony conviction.
Even juvenile criminal records can have an adverse effect on any future higher education plans. College administrators have been known to deny applicants admission who have been charged or convicted of certain felonies as a child or an adult. There are also some scholarship and grant opportunities that are restricted, preventing individuals with a criminal record from obtaining. Having an Indiana criminal record expunged may prevent universities from using a criminal past in the selection process.
Indiana Expungement Process
Unfortunately, the Indiana expungement process can be time consuming and potentially costly. While an expungement in Indiana can be completed via pro se representation, the potential complication and opportunity to make a mistake, make retaining a law firm that handles criminal record expungements much more attractive.
Obtain Your Criminal Record
Go to the Indiana State Police, the central repository for criminal history in Indiana, and obtain your criminal record by conducting a limited criminal history search.
File an Expungement Petition
The individual filing for expungement must provide the prosecuting attorney with a copy of the petition and supporting documents, then the prosecutor has 30 days to respond. If the crime involved a victim, the prosecutor has a duty to notify the victim of the expungement petition. The victim has the opportunity to provide the court with a statement regarding the expungement petition, but the judge will decide whether the information should carry any weight regarding the expungement petition. There are costs to obtaining an expungement, which vary based on the lawyer. The costs for the filing fee for an expungement vary slightly based on the county
As part of filing an expungement petition, the individual filing must provide the following proof:
- Proof court fines paid in full
- Proof fees paid in full
- Proof court ordered restitution is paid in full
- Proof ordered community service, or any other outstanding requirements are satisfied in full
Once paperwork is filed, the prosecutor will have a chance to object to the motion to seal the criminal records. This can be done through a written memorandum submitted to the court before or at the scheduled expungement hearing. The Indiana expungement attorneys should be prepared to address any objection a prosecutor could possibly have, in either scenario, and be prepared to present a strong, cogent and compelling argument as to why the criminal conviction or arrest record should be expunged.
Attend Court Hearing
During your hearing, the judge will review the evidence of your case and listen to each side before deciding whether to grant your expungement request. The decision will be based on a variety of factors, as the judge weighs the interests of the petition against the government. Should the court give a favorable ruling, them judge will sign an order to seal your record and send it to all agencies that maintain information about criminal record or conviction.
You Need Expert Indiana Expungement Attorneys
Always keep in mind that there are different standards of proof for more serious felonies. An expungement petition must establish relief is eligible through a preponderance of the evidence. This standard can make expunging these types of offenses more difficult, but not impossible. Call Indiana expungement attorneys Kevin Karimi and Ron Gemma a call at 317-602-5970 right now. It is time to get a clean criminal record!
Q: What is the difference between sealing and expungement?
A: The word expungement means that a criminal record is permanently destroyed, deleted, or erased, and can never be retrieved. An executed expungement petition is different from sealing a record. Under Indiana expungement law, when a criminal record is sealed, the criminal record still exists, but only specific government agencies and law enforcement officials can access it and only for limited reasons.
Q: What are expungement of criminal record costs?
A: Every Indiana County Superior Court has its own filing fee, and costs for Indiana expungement attorneys can vary widely as well. At Gemma & Karimi, be prepared roughly $1,500.00 per County filing and petition defense.
Q: Can an individual file their own expungement?
A: Yes! Any individual is definitely allowed to make a pro se expungement petition. However, the expungement process can be difficult, which is why it is recommended to speak to a lawyer that frequently works with record expungements.
Q: Does an expungement show up on an FBI background check?
A: Records are available to law enforcement agencies.
Q: Why are expungements denied?
A: While a large majority of expungement petitions are successful, there a few instances when an expungement is denied. Second Chance Law petitions are normally declined for some statutory reason, like waiting period, or lack of restitution or court costs being paid in full.
Q: How long does an expungement take to go through?
A: According to our experience in achieving successful expungement petitions, the average single county expungement takes at least 90 days. The state is given 30 days to respond to an initial expungement petition.
Q: Can a prospective employer ask about expunged criminal records?
A: The answer is NO! On employment applications or documents, a question about a criminal record can legally be answered as if they have never occurred. The only way that an employer can find out about an expunged criminal record is through asking in a manner that excludes a reference to expunged criminal charges.
Q: Is an expungement the same as a dismissal?
A: Actually no. A dismissal, not guilty or acquittal ruling occurs when a judge ends or throws out of court a pending criminal charge. An expungement is having a record of arrest or conviction that is already on your record removed after a certain period of time. Dismissal is always better because it never enters on your public record as a conviction, though the arrest should still be completed by an attorney. There is no statutory cost to expunge criminal arrests for a felony or a misdemeanor arrest.