Indiana Expungement Laws

This guide aims to provide detailed, clear, and concise information on how to approach expungement in Indiana, including official resources and answers to frequently asked questions.

Navigating the complexities of expungement laws in Indiana can be challenging, but understanding these laws is crucial for individuals seeking a fresh start. Expungement is the legal process of sealing or erasing a criminal record from public view, and Indiana offers this opportunity under certain conditions. This guide aims to provide detailed, clear, and concise information on how to approach expungement in Indiana, including official resources and answers to frequently asked questions.

Understanding Indiana's Expungement Laws

Eligibility for Expungement

Not all criminal records can be expunged in Indiana. Eligibility depends on the nature of the conviction, the amount of time that has passed since the conviction or arrest, and the individual's criminal history. Generally, both arrest records that did not lead to a conviction and certain misdemeanor and felony convictions are eligible for expungement, but there are specific waiting periods and other requirements.

Official Resources

For the most accurate and detailed information, refer to the following official Indiana government resources:

  • Detailed Information on Criminal Case Expungement: PDF
  • Indiana Code 35-38-9 Chapter 9. Sealing and Expunging Conviction Records: PDF
  • Second Chance Law:

These documents provide in-depth information on the expungement process, eligibility criteria, and the effects of expungement.

Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for Expungement

  1. Determine Eligibility: Review the detailed eligibility criteria outlined in the resources above to ensure you qualify for expungement.
  2. Obtain Your Criminal Record: You'll need a copy of your criminal record to apply for expungement. This can typically be obtained from the Indiana State Police.
  3. Complete the Required Forms: Application forms for expungement can be found on the Indiana Judiciary website or obtained from the court where the conviction occurred.
  4. File Your Petition: Submit your completed application to the appropriate court. There may be a filing fee, which varies by county.
  5. Attend a Hearing (if required): Some expungement requests may require a court hearing. Be prepared to present your case to a judge.
  6. Wait for a Decision: The court will review your application and make a decision. If your expungement is granted, steps will be taken to seal or erase your record from public view.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the new expungement law in Indiana?
    The "Second Chance Law" is the informal name for Indiana's expungement laws, which have been updated over the years to expand eligibility and simplify the process for applicants. For the latest information, refer to the official resources listed above.

  • What cases can be expunged in Indiana?
    Many misdemeanors and some felonies can be expunged, but there are exceptions, especially for more serious crimes. The official resources provide detailed eligibility criteria.

  • How long do you have to wait to get your record expunged in Indiana?
    The waiting period varies depending on the severity of the offense. It ranges from immediately for arrests that did not lead to a conviction, to five years for certain misdemeanors, and up to ten years for some felonies.

  • What is the Second Chance Law in Indiana?
    This law refers to Indiana's expungement statutes, designed to give individuals a "second chance" by allowing them to have certain criminal records sealed or expunged.

Expungement can be a life-changing process, offering a clean slate to those who qualify. By following the steps outlined in this guide and utilizing the official and additional resources provided, individuals seeking expungement in Indiana can navigate the process more confidently and effectively.

About the author
Von Wooding

Von Wooding

Counsel Stack develops grounded language models equipped with research, retrieval, and drafting tools. We offer legal leads, pre-built intelligent applications, and white label solutions.

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