Even if you were not convicted of a crime, your arrest may still be part of the public record, accessible to employers and others wishing to do a background check. This can cause you to not be hired or not qualify for an apartment, leading to significant hardships. However, it may be possible to expunge your record.
What is an expungement?
An expungement in Indiana means that your arrest can no longer appear on a background check. You may be able to pursue an expungement if all of the following are true:
- You were not convicted of the charges against you either through being found not guilty, having your case dismissed or having your case vacated on appeal
- Your arrest is 12 months old or older
- You are not currently facing any criminal charges
- You are not currently participating in any pretrial diversion programs.
Note that an expungement based on non-conviction will keep that specific arrest from appearing on a background check. Criminal convictions have a separate process and qualifications for expungement. Also, certain crimes are not eligible for expungement.
Expungement has many benefits
Having your arrest expunged can improve your life in many ways. It can protect you from being denied housing or a job. Moreover, it can help you move forward from your arrest with a clean slate.
Still, expungement is a legal process that many people do not have much experience with. A misstep could cost you your expungement and allow your arrest to remain accessible through a background check. For these reasons, it can help to work with an attorney when pursuing an expungement.