Records Expungement | Lafayette, IN
New laws on erasing or sealing a person’s criminal record or even the person’s arrest came into effect July 1, 2013. The judges are still figuring out how to implement them and prosecutors are objecting vociferously. Two important points to be aware of are that sealing or expunging a record will not mean that a person suddenly becomes eligible to become a citizen or carry a gun. Thanks to these new laws a person may now have an arrest which did not result in a criminal charge sealed a year after the date of arrest. The burden is on the petitioner to prove by clear and convincing evidence the case for sealing. A criminal justice agency may access the records only after obtaining a court order. If a person was convicted of a Class D Felony which was entered as a Misdemeanor or a Class A Misdemeanor a lawyer may petition for the conviction to be expunged five years after the date of the conviction (unless a prosecutor consents to a lesser time period) by filing a civil case which means a filing fee must be paid to a clerk. There are several requirements the person must meet, such as not having any pending charges, among others, and the petitioner must sign the petition swearing or affirming that the statements in it are true. Any victim will be given a copy of the petition by the prosecutor. A petitioner may petition to expunge more than one conviction (but not arrest) at once but the petitions must be one per county in which there were convictions.
Some convictions cannot be expunged, such as any conviction that resulted in bodily injury to another person, rape, child molesting, murder, perjury, and official misconduct among others.
For other Class D felonies a person may petition for expungement eight years after the date of conviction unless a prosecutor consents in writing to a lesser time period. This is also a civil case which requires a filing fee and the petition must be verified. More serious felonies (except those that are excluded, some of which were listed above) may be expunged ten years after the person has completed the person’s sentence (unless the prosecutor consents in writing to an earlier) time period. Once again it is a civil case requiring a filing fee and the petition must be truthful. Other factors to keep in mind are that a person may only file one petition for expungement in the person’s lifetime. All petitions for expungement filed in separate counties for offenses committed in those counties count as one petition if they are filed in one three hundred sixty five day period. If you or someone you love needs to have their record expunged so they can have better employment opportunities or for other reasons please contact us by telephone, 765-742-2987, or e-mail, Susannah@halljustice.com.
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If a judge approves the petition a person may legally state that they have not been arrested or convicted of the Class D felony or misdemeanor listed in the restricted records. It is important for people seeking to have access to their criminal records restricted to tell the judge each and every person or business who possesses the information so the judge can order them to restrict access. The judge can only order those who are within Indiana to obey Indiana law.