Do You Have A Criminal Conviction On Your Record? Here's What You Can Do About It

Updated: Nov 7, 2021

A criminal conviction can have a life-long impact on your future. The stigma that attaches to any criminal conviction presents a towering obstacle for past offenders in their efforts to assimilate back into society. For example, the general reluctance of employers to hire applicants with criminal records has the effect of transforming a minor offense into a life sentence by persistently limiting past offenders’ employment opportunities. Also, past offenders can be deprived of various public benefits—such as food stamps and public housing—and they can be stripped of certain rights, such as the right to vote and to bear arms. If you have a criminal conviction and can relate to the frustrations of being defined by your past mistake, this blog is for you.


What can you do?

To remedy the stigmatization of past offenders and to reduce recidivism, many states began enacting expungement laws. Expungement is the deletion or sealing of your past arrest or conviction record; generally, an expunged record is no longer accessible to the public, including employers.


In 2013, Indiana enacted expungement laws to help past offenders recover from their setbacks. Ever since, many past offenders have reaped the benefits. Indiana allows for the expungement of most misdemeanors and some felonies.


How do you get an expungement?

To receive an expungement, you must file a verified petition for expungement in the appropriate court.


Before you file your petition, however, you must meet the following conditions:

1. Your waiting period has passed (more below).

2. You have not been convicted of a crime during your waiting period.

3. No charges are pending against you.

4. You have paid all fines, fees, and court costs.


What is your waiting period?

Your waiting period depends on the following:

  • Arrested but not convicted (or case later dismissed through pre-trial diversion) – 1 year after arrest or charge, whichever was later (earlier by agreement with the Prosecutor)

  • Misdemeanor – 5 years after date of conviction (earlier by agreement with the Prosecutor)

  • Class D or Level 6 felony – 8 years after date of conviction (earlier by agreement with the Prosecutor)

  • Higher Level Felony without Serious Bodily Injury – 8 years after date of conviction or 3 years after the completion of your sentence (earlier by agreement with the Prosecutor)

  • Higher Level Felony with Serious Bodily Injury – 10 years after the date of conviction or 5 years after the completion of your sentence (earlier by agreement with the Prosecutor)

If you have a criminal record, Brinkley Law knows what you're going through and would like to help you get the second chance you deserve. Begin pursuing a better life by contacting Brinkley Law today at 317-643-1813 or book an appointment online.

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