Expunging an arrest or criminal conviction record can be important and potentially life changing for an accused individual. Accused individuals wishing to expunge their criminal record should be familiar with the expunction process and how it can help them.
The expunction process
Under Indiana law, accused individuals may be able to seal a portion of their criminal record. Under the Second Chance Law, also referred to as the expungement law, if an accused individual is successful in their petition to have their criminal record expunged, or sealed, it will not appear in a criminal history check conducted by noncriminal justice organizations or individuals.
This can be helpful when the accused individual is attempting to obtain credit, secure housing, obtain employment or pursuing an education. Once the criminal record is expunged, or sealed, the accused individual can answer truthfully that they do not have a criminal record. The accused individual should keep in mind that even if their petition to seal their criminal record is granted, criminal justice agencies, including the police, prosecutor and court, will still have access to the information. It is also important to keep in mind that the process restricts access to criminal records but does not expunge the accused individual’s criminal history forever.
Are you eligible for an expunction?
The categories of accused individuals who may qualify to have their criminal record sealed can be complex and the process itself can be complex as well. It is helpful to have trained guidance to determine if the accused individual seeking an expunction qualifies and to help them through the process of petitioning to have access to their criminal record restricted under the Second Chance Law.