Fort Wayne Criminal Defense Attorney Helps Obtain Expungements
Criminal records sealed or destroyed so you can get a fresh start
For many individuals in Indiana, the ordeal of their arrest and prosecution lasts years beyond the resolution of their case. If you’ve been arrested, even if you were not prosecuted or convicted, you have a criminal record. If you’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony, your record and civil penalties survive even after your time served. That record can prevent you from finding employment, bettering yourself through education, or even getting a loan for a car or a home. At the Law Offices of Ryan E. Lackey, we understand your need for a clean slate. We help clients throughout the state expunge their criminal record so that past mistakes no longer haunt them.
Understanding Indiana expungement law
In 2013, the Indiana legislature amended the state’s expungement law, allowing more individuals to qualify. Depending on the nature of your past offense, you can have your record sealed, so no one can access it without a court order, or permanently destroyed. With an expungement, your civil rights, including the right to vote, sit on a jury, and own a firearm, are restored, and it is illegal for employers to discriminate against you.
To qualify for an expungement, you must show that:
- There are no criminal charges pending against you.
- You do not have a suspended driver’s license.
- You have not been convicted of a crime for five to 10 years, depending on the crime you wish to have expunged.
Waiting periods are based on the severity of the crime:
- Arrested but not convicted or prosecuted — One year after arrest to have arrest record expunged
- Conviction overturned — One year after arrest to have arrest record expunged
- Misdemeanor or Class D felony reduced to a misdemeanor — Five years after conviction
- Most nonviolent felonies — Eight years after conviction
- Serious felonies — 10-year wait and consent of the prosecuting attorney is required
Expungements are not available for sex crimes, violent crimes and official misconduct.
Procedure to obtain an expungement
You must file for an expungement in the court of the county in which your conviction was entered. The courts will only grant one expungement in your lifetime, so if you have multiple arrests/convictions you must seek to have all records expunged at once. If you want to have multiple offenses expunged in the same county, you must include all in the same petition. If you have convictions in different counties, you must file separate petitions within one year. The law only allows one expungement in your lifetime, but if your petition is denied at first, you may reapply in three years. The procedure is complex, but an experienced criminal defense attorney can guide you through the process successfully.
Contact an experienced Fort Wayne attorney for expungements in Indiana
If you have an arrest record or a criminal conviction that is holding you back, you may be able to start fresh with an expungement. Contact the Law Offices of Ryan E. Lackey for a thorough evaluation and advice on how to proceed. If you are eligible for an expungement, we can guide you through the entire process. Calls us today at 260-209-1666 or contact our Fort Wayne office online.