Valparaiso Expungement / Record Sealing Lawyers
Attorneys Serving Porter County & Lake County In Northwest Indiana
The Indiana expungement laws have recently changed the criteria for people to have their records expunged. Expungement is the act of destroying or sealing criminal records. Under the new law in Indiana, the records can only be seen by a law enforcement officer when acting in an official capacity, or when released by a court order. Once records are expunged there can be no employment discrimination of a person based on a past conviction
We can help you understand:
How long does the expungement process take?
How does expungement work in Indiana?
How much does expungement cost?
Why is expungement important?
Why would a person's expungement be denied?
Who qualifies for expungement in Indiana?
What are the steps to expungement in Indiana?
How to expunge criminal records?
What is the expungement process?
For those looking to have their records expunged, they must first file a petition in the county where the conviction was entered. If you have several convictions in the same county, you should do so on the same application. If there are convictions in separate counties, then each petition must be filed in the county where the particular conviction was entered. Filing the petition requires a fee, which most of the time is equivalent to the civil fees of the court.
The process seems relatively simple, but can be difficult and time consuming to navigate. For example, you only have one chance to file for your records to be expunged. This is why the petitions for convictions in one state are normally filed all at the same time. If there are convictions in different states, then the petitions have to be filed within a year’s period of one another.
What should you know about the expungement process?
To get a misdemeanor expunged, you will have to demonstrate to the court that you have fully complied with the sentence. You must also not be serving another sentence, or have been charged with another offense. Normally, it must be a full year since the court entered the judgment for the application to be heard. The conditions are different in different jurisdictions. For example, in Indiana a person must NOT have been convicted of a crime for a period of between 5 and ten years - depending on the severity of the conviction being expunged in Indiana. The waiting period for a felony reduced to a misdemeanor is five years, but for the more serious crimes, the waiting period can be as long as eight years. Sex offenders, those convicted of official misconduct or violent offenders are not eligible for expungement. In Indiana, you must also have a valid driver’s license to enter an expungement application.
What do I need to prove to have my records sealed?
For the petition to be successful, one needs prove several things to the court. Perhaps the most important is that they show the court that they are not career criminals. Expungement is a privilege and should not be treated as a right. Therefore, you must be able to show that you have been and intend to continue a life without crime. Employment records, school and volunteering achievements all show signs of positive progress. To do this, you need records and information about your background to be presented to the court officials and the judge. You also need details of the case, dates and other information pertaining to the case. The local courthouse might be able to help you get this information.
Experienced Expungement & Record Sealing Attorneys
Everyone deserves a second chance – we ALL make mistakes. However, having past records expunged is not a given and for a petition to be successful a lot of work and diligence is required. The lawyers at Millbranth & Bush bring the experience and knowledge required to file for a successful expungement. Contact us today for help!