You can seek an expungement of certain felony convictions in Indiana. Expungement seals your criminal record from public view. This means it is removed it from court files and department of correction files, files from the bureau of motor vehicles and the files of anyone who provided treatment to you per a court order.
If your conviction is expunged, it will not show up on a criminal background check performed by employers, financial institutions, landlords or any other member of the public. This can be an essential component of moving forward with your life after you have served your sentence.
Note that not all felony convictions can be expunged. In addition, sometimes the prosecutor must agree to the expungement before it can be approved.
If your conviction is eligible for expungement, you may still need to seek the consent of the prosecutor for the expungement to go through if you want to circumvent the mandatory waiting period.
There is a waiting period that must pass before you can seek expungement. You cannot seek expungement for a felony conviction until either 10 years have passed since you were convicted or five years have passed since you completed your sentence, whichever is later.
An exception to this is if the prosecutor agrees in writing to expunge your conviction sooner. If the prosecutor consents in writing to a shorter waiting period your conviction can be expunged at that point if:
- That time has elapsed
- You have no further criminal charges pending against you
- You have paid all necessary fines, fees, court costs and restitution, and
- You have not been convicted of another crime within the past 10 years or within the shorter waiting period consented to
Expungement gives you a second chance. You should not be required to carry the ball and chain of a criminal record around forever. Redemption is key to moving forward from your criminal past and living a productive and honorable future.