Expungement of your criminal record under the Indiana Second Chance Expungement Law has become much easier in recent years.  If you are interested in speaking to an Indianapolis Expungement lawyer about having your criminal record expunged under the Indiana Expungement Law, for a criminal felony, criminal misdemeanor, or DCS case, please contact me at 317-695-7700 for a free consultation with an Indiana expungement attorney or email me at jeffcardella@cardellalawoffice.com  If you are emailing me, make sure to include your date of birth and spelling of your name as it appears on mycase.in.gov

We offer a MONEY BACK GUARANTEE on ALL expungements.  For the majority of expungements, no court appearance or office visit is necessary and we offer affordable prices. 

I have practiced criminal defense my entire career, teach criminal law at the IU School of Law, and have personally handled thousands of cases.  I practice in the entire State of Indiana, including Marion County, Hamilton County, Hendricks County, Boone County, Monroe County, Indianapolis, Bloomington, Noblesville, Carmel, Fishers, Danville, and Plainfield. If you have additional questions about the Indiana Expungement Law, please do not hesitate to contact me for a free consultation at 317-695-7700 or visit our home page. 

Call for a Free Indiana Expungement Law Attorney Consultation 317-695-7700

Introduction to Expungement Law in Indiana

Indiana Expungement Law Basics

Money Back Guarantee Expungement Attorney in Indiana

Payment Plans for Indiana Expungements

Expungement of a Case that did not Result in a Conviction under Indiana Expungement Law 

Expungement of a Criminal Misdemeanor Conviction under Indiana Expungement  Law

Expungement of a Criminal Level 6 Felony or D Felony Conviction under Indiana Expungement Law 

Expungement of a Major Felony Conviction under Indiana Expungement Law 

Early Expungement Attorney in Indiana 

Indiana Expungement Law

Fast Expedited Expungement Attorney in Indianapolis

Firearms Rights Restoration Attorney in Indiana and Frequently Asked Questions

2018 Indiana Expungement Law Proposals

2019 Indiana Expungement Law Proposals

2020 Indiana Expungement Law Proposals

2021 Indiana Expungement Law Proposals

2022 Indiana Expungement Law Updates

2023 Indiana Expungement Law Proposals

2024 Indiana Expungement Law Proposals

Additional Expungement Information under Indiana Expungement Law

DCS Expungement Attorney in Indiana

Call for a Free Indiana Expungement Law Attorney Consultation 317-695-7700

Call 317-695-7700 to schedule a free consultation with an Indiana expungement attorney or Indianapolis expungement lawyer to discuss Indiana Expungement Law or sealing of your criminal record under the Indiana Second Chance Law.  We offer a MONEY BACK GUARANTEE on ALL expungements.  You can also email me at jeffcardella@cardellalawoffice.com  However, if you are emailing me, please include your date of birth and the spelling of your name as it appears on mycase.in.gov  My office is located in centrally located in Indianapolis but we handle expungement and sealing in the entire state of Indiana. I have personally handled thousands of cases and teach criminal law at the IU school of Law. Calls are answered seven days a week and we handle expungements in the entire State of Indiana.

Introduction to Expungement Law in Indiana

Prior to 2013, Indiana’s Expungement law was extremely narrow in scope and prevented almost all expungements. The original version of the Indiana Expungement Law only allowed expungement if:

(1) no criminal charges were filed; or

(2) all criminal charges were dropped because of mistaken identity; or

(3) all criminal charges were dropped because no offense was in fact committed; or

(4) all criminal charges were dropped because there was an absence of probable cause.

As a result, prior to 2013, almost no cases were eligible for expungement under Indiana Expungement Law.  This often created very unjust results.  People who had stayed out of trouble for decades were still shackled by mistakes they had made in their youth. Even individuals who were found not guilty of very serious allegations still had the arrests on their record, making it very difficult to obtain employment. In 2013, Indiana passed the Indiana Second Chance Law, which made drastic changes to the Indiana Expungement statutes.  There were a few flaws in the 2013 version of the statute, but the general intent of the amendment was to allow people to have cases expunged that could not have been expunged under the old version of the law, including many convictions.  The expungement statue was amended in 2015 to cure several defects.

The specific rules for expungement are discussed in more detail below, but there are several important points that are worth taking note of.

• First, you generally only have one chance per lifetime to request expungement of your criminal convictions. Keep this in mind before you try to expunge your record without an attorney.  If you make a mistake, you may do damage that is difficult or impossible to undo.  Also, If you are young, and have a conviction on your record, you may want to think twice before having it expunged.

• Second, for some expungements, state law requires that the expungement petition “shall” be granted, meaning that if all the requirements of the statute are met, the Judge must grant the petition.  For other expungements, state law gives discretion to the Judge to decide whether or not expungement is appropriate.  This is addressed in more detail below.

• Third, expungement always requires a waiting period.

• Fourth, the waiting period can be waived if the prosecutor consents in writing.  In my experience, if you have a good reason for requesting early expungement (especially an employment related reason), prosecutors are often understanding of this.

• Fifth, I would discourage anyone from attempting to do their own “do it yourself expungement.” Expungement law is not terribly complicated, and is somewhat routine for an experienced practitioner. However, it can end very badly if you don’t know what you are doing. I generally tell people that trying to do their own expungement petition is similar to changing the transmission in a car – if you know what you are doing, it can be fairly simple – but if you don’t . . . it can be a disaster.

• Sixth, expunged records are still visible to law enforcement and Courts.  If you apply for a job at a police department, a prosecutors office, the FBI, or any law enforcement agency, they will have access to the expunged records. If you have legal trouble in the future, the Judge and Prosecutor will be aware of the prior records.

• Seventh, having a major felony conviction expunged will generally not actually remove the case from public records.  An employer will still be able to see the conviction, although there will be an asterisk next to the conviction, explaining that it has been expunged. In some situations, it can still be worthwhile to have these cases expunged.  For example, if an employer wants to offer you a job, but has a corporate policy of not hiring convicted felons, having the major felony conviction expunged might allow the employer to hire you.  In some situations though, having a major felony conviction does not have the desired affect.

• Eighth, all expungement petitions require compliance with the Indiana Administrative Rules, including 9(G)(5).

• Ninth, if you hold or held a CDL, Federal law often prevents certain driving offenses (such as operating while intoxicated cases) from being expunged. 

If you have questions about expungement law and want to speak to an Indiana Expungement Attorney, call me for a free consultation at 317-695-7700. 

Indiana Expungement Law Basics 

Indiana Expungement Law allows an individual to expunge their criminal record once per lifetime (although this limit does not apply to cases that have been dismissed). While the expungement law does contain certain exceptions, these general rules apply:

•  Expungement of Dismissed cases – can be expunged in 1 year

•  Expungement of Criminal Misdemeanor convictions – can be expunged in 5 years

•  Expungement of AMS convictions – can be expunged in 5 years

•  Expungement of Criminal Level 6 felony convictions – can be expunged in 8 years

•  Expungement of Criminal D Felony convictions – can be expunged in 8 years

•  Expungement of Major felony convictions  – Some (but not all) major felony convictions can be expunged in 8 years.

In some situations, the waiting period to have your record expunged can be shortened. More details about the Indiana expungement statutes are available below.  If you have questions about having your case expunged, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Money Back Guarantee Expungement Attorney in Indiana

We offer a money back guarantee on ALL expungements.   

Payment Plans for Indiana Expungements 

For individuals who are interested in doing a payment plan for an Indiana Expungement, my office incorporates “buy now pay later” options through Affirm/Afterpay.  Just click “PAY LATER” on the payment page of my website:

Expungement of a Case that did Not Result in a Conviction under Indiana Expungement Law

Indiana Code 35-38-9-1 deals with expunging cases that did not result in a conviction. This includes cases that were dismissed through a diversion agreement or a conditional discharge.  It also includes cases where the individual was found not guilty or the prosecutor dismissed the case.  The actual statute is below, but there are several important points that are worth taking note of:

• First, if the case did not result in a conviction, it does not matter what the seriousness of the charge was.  The rules are the same whether someone is charged with murder or minor in possession of alcohol.

• Second, this statute requires that the Judge “shall” grant the expungement petition, if all requirements of the statute are met. This means that the Court is not given to discretion to deny the petition.

• Third, there is a waiting period of one year. This can be waived if the prosecutor consents in writing.  For cases filed after 2022, the Court will often do the expungement automatically.

• Fourth, the petitioner can not currently be participating in a pretrial diversion program.

• Fifth, the petitioner can not currently have criminal charges pending.

• Lastly, there is no filing fee.

• If you have questions about expunging a case that did not result in a conviction and want to speak to an Indiana Expungement Attorney, call me for a free consultation at 317-695-7700. 

IC 35-38-9-1 Expunging arrest records

(a) This section applies only to a person who has been arrested, charged with an offense, or alleged to be a delinquent child, if:

(1) the arrest, criminal charge, or juvenile delinquency allegation:

(A) did not result in a conviction or juvenile adjudication, even if the arrest, criminal charge, or juvenile delinquency allegation resulted in an adjudication for an infraction; or

(B) resulted in a conviction or juvenile adjudication and the conviction or adjudication was expunged under sections 2 through 5 of this chapter, or was later vacated; and

(2) the person is not currently participating in a pretrial diversion program, unless the prosecuting attorney authorizes the person to petition for an expungement under this section.

(b) This subsection applies to a person charged with an offense or alleged to be a delinquent child after June 30, 2022. If:

(1) a court dismisses all:

(A) criminal charges; or

(B) juvenile delinquency allegations;

filed and pending against a person;

(2) one (1) year has passed since juvenile delinquency allegations were filed against a child, and:

(A) there is no disposition; and

(B) the state is not actively prosecuting the allegations; or

(3) in a:

(A) criminal trial a defendant is acquitted of all charges, or the defendant’s conviction is later vacated; or

(B) juvenile proceeding the court finds all allegations not true, or the juvenile’s true finding is later vacated;

the court shall immediately order all records related to the criminal charges or juvenile delinquency allegations expunged. An expungement order that is issued based on nonprosecution under subdivision (2) goes into effect immediately. An expungement order issued under subdivision (1) or (3) may not go into effect earlier than sixty (60) days from the date of the dismissal, acquittal, or no true finding. However, upon motion by the prosecuting attorney, if the court finds that specific facts exist in the particular case which justify a delay, the court may delay implementation of an expungement order under subdivision (1) or (3) for up to one (1) year from the date of the dismissal, acquittal, or no true finding.

(c) This subsection applies to a person arrested after June 30, 2022. If:

(1) a person is arrested;

(2) one hundred eighty (180) days have elapsed since the date of the arrest; and

(3) no charges are pending against the person;

the prosecuting attorney shall notify a judge exercising criminal jurisdiction in the county (or a designated judge, if applicable) of these facts. Upon receipt of the notification, the judge shall immediately order the expungement of all records related to the arrest.

(d) Not earlier than one (1) year after the date of arrest, criminal charge, or juvenile delinquency allegation (whichever is later), if the person was not convicted or adjudicated a delinquent child, or the opinion vacating the conviction or adjudication becomes final, the person may petition the court for expungement of the records related to the arrest, criminal charge, or juvenile delinquency allegation. However, a person may petition the court for expungement at an earlier time if the prosecuting attorney agrees in writing to an earlier time.

(e) A petition for expungement of records must be verified and filed in a circuit or superior court in the county where the criminal charges or juvenile delinquency allegation was filed, or if no criminal charges or juvenile delinquency allegation was filed, in the county where the arrest occurred. The petition must set forth:

(1) the date of the arrest, criminal charges, or juvenile delinquency allegation, and conviction (if applicable);

(2) the county in which the arrest occurred, the county in which the information or indictment was filed, and the county in which the juvenile delinquency allegation was filed, if applicable;

(3) the law enforcement agency employing the arresting officer, if known;

(4) the court in which the criminal charges or juvenile delinquency allegation was filed, if applicable;

(5) any other known identifying information, such as:

(A) the name of the arresting officer;

(B) case number or court cause number;

(C) any aliases or other names used by the petitioner;

(D) the petitioner’s driver’s license number; and

(E) a list of each criminal charge and its disposition, if applicable;

(6) the date of the petitioner’s birth; and

(7) the petitioner’s Social Security number.

A person who files a petition under this section is not required to pay a filing fee.

(f) The court shall serve a copy of the petition on the prosecuting attorney.

(g) Upon receipt of a petition for expungement, the court:

(1) may summarily deny the petition if the petition does not meet the requirements of this section, or if the statements contained in the petition indicate that the petitioner is not entitled to relief; and

(2) shall grant the petition unless:

(A) the conditions described in subsection (a) have not been met; or

(B) criminal charges are pending against the person.

(h) Whenever the petition of a person under this section is granted, or if an expungement order is issued without a petition under subsection (b) or (c):

(1) no information concerning the arrest, criminal charges, juvenile delinquency allegation, vacated conviction, or vacated juvenile delinquency adjudication (including information from a collateral action that identifies the petitioner), may be placed or retained in any state central repository for criminal history information or in any other alphabetically arranged criminal history information system maintained by a local, regional, or statewide law enforcement agency;

(2) the clerk of the supreme court shall seal or redact any records in the clerk’s possession that relate to the arrest, criminal charges, juvenile delinquency allegation, vacated conviction, or vacated juvenile delinquency adjudication;

(3) the records of:

(A) the sentencing court;

(B) a court that conducted a collateral action;

(C) a juvenile court;

(D) a court of appeals; and

(E) the supreme court;

concerning the person shall be redacted or permanently sealed; and

(4) with respect to the records of a person who is named as an appellant or an appellee in an opinion or memorandum decision by the supreme court or the court of appeals, or who is identified in a collateral action, the court shall:

(A) redact the opinion or memorandum decision as it appears on the computer gateway administered by the office of technology so that it does not include the petitioner’s name (in the same manner that opinions involving juveniles are redacted); and

(B) provide a redacted copy of the opinion to any publisher or organization to whom the opinion or memorandum decision is provided after the date of the order of expungement.

The supreme court and the court of appeals are not required to redact, destroy, or otherwise dispose of any existing copy of an opinion or memorandum decision that includes the petitioner’s name.

(i) If the court issues an order granting a petition for expungement under this section, or issues an order for expungement without a petition under subsection (b) or (c), the order must include the information described in subsection (e).

(j) If a person whose records are expunged brings an action that might be defended with the contents of the expunged records, the defendant is presumed to have a complete defense to the action. In order for the plaintiff to recover, the plaintiff must show that the contents of the expunged records would not exonerate the defendant. The plaintiff may be required to state under oath whether the plaintiff had records in the criminal or juvenile justice system and whether those records were expunged. If the plaintiff denies the existence of the records, the defendant may prove their existence in any manner compatible with the law of evidence.

Expungement of a Criminal Misdemeanor Conviction under Indiana Expungement Law

Indiana Code 35-38-9-2 deals with expunging cases that resulted in a criminal misdemeanor conviction. This includes cases that started as a level 6 or D felony, but were reduced pursuant to alternate misdemeanor sentencing (often called AMS). The actual statute is below, but there are several important points that are worth taking note of:

• First, this statute requires that the Judge “shall” grant the expungement petition, if all requirements of the statute are met. This means that the Court is not given to discretion to deny the petition.

• Second, there is a waiting period of 5 years. The 5 years runs from the date of the conviction (not the date of arrest). This waiting period can be waived if the prosecutor consents in writing.

• Third, the petitioner can not have any other convictions on their record during the previous 5 years. This includes convictions from other jurisdictions.

• Fourth, the petitioner can not have any charges currently pending. 

• Fifth, the petitioner must have paid all fines, fees, and court costs, and satisfied any restitution obligation placed on the person as part of the sentence.

• Sixth, this section does not apply to a person convicted of two or more separate criminal felony offenses that involved the unlawful use of a deadly weapon.

• Seventh, this section does not apply to a sex or violent offender.

• Lastly, there is a filing fee.

• If you have questions about expunging a criminal misdemeanor conviction and want to speak to an Indiana Expungement Attorney, call me for a free consultation at 317-695-7700. 

IC 35-38-9-2 Expunging misdemeanor convictions 

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) and section 8.5 of this chapter, this section applies only to a person convicted of a misdemeanor, including a Class D felony (for a crime committed before July 1, 2014) or a Level 6 felony (for a crime committed after June 30, 2014) reduced to a misdemeanor.

(b) This section does not apply to the following:

(1) A person convicted of two (2) or more felony offenses that:

(A) involved the unlawful use of a deadly weapon; and

(B) were not committed as part of the same episode of criminal conduct.

(2) A sex or violent offender (as defined in IC 11-8-8-5).

(c) Not earlier than five (5) years after the date of conviction (unless the prosecuting attorney consents in writing to an earlier period), the person convicted of the misdemeanor may petition a court to expunge all conviction records, including records contained in:

(1) a court’s files;

(2) the files of the department of correction;

(3) the files of the bureau of motor vehicles; and

(4) the files of any other person who provided treatment or services to the petitioning person under a court order;
that relate to the person’s misdemeanor conviction.

(d) A person who files a petition to expunge conviction records shall file the petition in a circuit or superior court in the county of conviction.

(e) If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that:

(1) the period required by this section has elapsed;

(2) no charges are pending against the person;

(3) the person has paid all fines, fees, and court costs, and satisfied any restitution obligation placed on the person as part of the sentence; and

(4) the person has not been convicted of a crime within the previous five (5) years (or within a shorter period agreed to by the prosecuting attorney if the prosecuting attorney has consented to a shorter period under subsection (c));

the court shall order the conviction records described in subsection (c) expunged in accordance with section 6 of this chapter.

Expungement of a Criminal Level 6 Felony or D Felony Conviction under Indiana Expungement Law

Indiana Code 35-38-9-3 deals with expunging cases that resulted in a criminal Level 6 or D Felony conviction. This does not include cases that were were reduced pursuant to alternate misdemeanor sentencing. The actual statute is below, but there are several important points that are worth taking note of:

• First, this statute requires that the Judge “shall” grant the expungement petition, if all requirements of the statute are met.  This means that the Court is not given to discretion to deny the petition.

• Second, there is a waiting period of 8 years. The 8 years runs from the date of the conviction (not the date of arrest). This waiting period can be waived if the prosecutor consents in writing.  Additionally, if a felony conviction is eligible for alternative misdemeanor sentencing, a petition can first be filed to convert the felony to a misdemeanor, after which the conviction becomes subject to the 5 year waiting requirement of Indiana Code 35-39-9-2.

• Third, the petitioner can not have any other convictions on their record during the previous 8 years.  This includes convictions from other jurisdictions.

• Fourth, the petitioner can not have any charges currently pending.

• Fifth, the petitioner must have paid all fines, fees, and court costs, and satisfied any restitution obligation placed on the person as part of the sentence.

• Sixth, this section has far more restrictions than a misdemeanor expungement conviction.  For example, this section does not apply to a person convicted of a felony that resulted in bodily injury to another person, a person convicted of perjury or official misconduct, or an elected official convicted of an offense while serving the official’s term or as a candidate for public office.  These restrictions can sometimes be avoided by first having the felony reduced to a misdemeanor and then requesting expungement.  For example, I represented a person who had a D felony conviction for operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing bodily injury.  Because the offense resulted in “bodily injury,” the individual was not technically eligible for expungement.  In this situation we asked the Court to reduce the felony conviction to a misdemeanor, which the Court granted.  We were then able to have the conviction expunged because the expungement petition became subject to the more lenient restrictions of Indiana Code 35-38-9-2. 

• Lastly, there is a filing fee.

If you have questions about expunging a D felony conviction or a Level 6 Felony conviction and want to speak to an Indiana Expungement Attorney, call me for a free consultation at 317-695-7700. 

IC § 35-38-9-3 Expunging minor Class D and Level 6 felony convictions

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) and section 8.5 of this chapter, this section applies only to a person convicted of a Class D felony (for a crime committed before July 1, 2014) or a Level 6 felony (for a crime committed after June 30, 2014). This section does not apply to a person if the person’s Class D felony or Level 6 felony was reduced to a Class A misdemeanor.

(b) This section does not apply to the following:

(1) An elected official convicted of an offense while serving the official’s term or as a candidate for public office.

(2) A sex or violent offender (as defined in IC 11-8-8-5).

(3) A person convicted of a felony that resulted in bodily injury to another person.

(4) A person convicted of perjury (IC 35-44.1-2-1) or official misconduct (IC 35-44.1-1-1).

(5) A person convicted of an offense described in:  

(A) IC 35-42-1;

(B) IC 35-42-3.5; or

(C) IC 35-42-4.

(6) A person convicted of two (2) or more felony offenses that:

(A) involved the unlawful use of a deadly weapon; and

(B) were not committed as part of the same episode of criminal conduct.

(c) Not earlier than eight (8) years after the date of conviction (unless the prosecuting attorney consents in writing to an earlier period), the person convicted of the Class D felony or Level 6 felony may petition a court to expunge all conviction records, including records contained in:

(1) a court’s files;

(2) the files of the department of correction;

(3) the files of the bureau of motor vehicles; and

(4) the files of any other person who provided treatment or services to the petitioning person under a court order;
that relate to the person’s Class D or Level 6 felony conviction.

(d) A person who files a petition to expunge conviction records shall file the petition in a circuit or superior court in the county of conviction.

(e) If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that:

(1) the period required by this section has elapsed;

(2) no charges are pending against the person;

(3) the person has paid all fines, fees, and court costs, and satisfied any restitution obligation placed on the person as part of the sentence; and

(4) the person has not been convicted of a crime within the previous eight (8) years (or within a shorter period agreed to by the prosecuting attorney if the prosecuting attorney has consented to a shorter period under subsection (c));

the court shall order the conviction records described in subsection (c) expunged in accordance with section 6 of this chapter.

Expungement of a Major Felony Conviction under Indiana Expungement Law

As a general rule of thumb, I generally discourage people from seeking expungement of a major felony conviction. Most people who seek expungement are trying to prevent potential employers from seeing the conviction. Having a major felony case expunged will generally not prevent the public from seeing the conviction, it will merely add an asterisk to the record, explaining that the record has been expunged.

As a practical matter, if a background check shows:

Armed Robbery * Expunged

we all know how this looks in the real world. Additionally, Indiana Expungement Law gives discretion to the Judge, and states that the Court “may” grant the expungement, but is not required to. Additionally, expungement of some major felony convictions requires written consent of the prosecutor. While expungement of a major felony conviction will not result in sealing, it generally will result in restoration of firearms rights. If you are interested in having a major felony conviction expunged, and want to speak to an Indiana Expungement Attorney, call me for a free consultation at 317-695-7700.

IC § 35-38-9-4 Expunging certain less serious felony convictions

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) and section 8.5 of this chapter, this section applies only to a person convicted of a felony who may not seek expungement of that felony under section 3 of this chapter.

(b) This section does not apply to the following:

(1) An elected official convicted of an offense while serving the official’s term or as a candidate for public office.

(2) A sex or violent offender (as defined in IC 11-8-8-5).

(3) A person convicted of a felony that resulted in serious bodily injury to another person.

(4) A person convicted of official misconduct (IC 35-44.1-1-1).

(5) A person convicted of an offense described in:

(A) IC 35-42-1;

(B) IC 35-42-3.5; or

(C) IC 35-42-4.

(6) A person convicted of two (2) or more felony offenses that:

(A) involved the unlawful use of a deadly weapon; and

(B) were not committed as part of the same episode of criminal conduct.

(c) Not earlier than the later of eight (8) years from the date of conviction, or three (3) years from the completion of the person’s sentence, unless the prosecuting attorney consents in writing to an earlier period, the person convicted of the felony may petition a court to expunge all conviction records, including records contained in:

(1) a court’s files;

(2) the files of the department of correction;

(3) the files of the bureau of motor vehicles; and

(4) the files of any other person who provided treatment or services

to the petitioning person under a court order; that relate to the person’s felony conviction.

(d) A person who files a petition to expunge conviction records shall file the petition in a circuit or superior court in the county of conviction.

(e) If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that:

(1) the period required by this section has elapsed;

(2) no charges are pending against the person;

(3) the person has paid all fines, fees, and court costs, and satisfied any restitution obligation placed on the person as part of the sentence; and

(4) the person has not been convicted of a crime within the previous eight (8) years (or within a shorter period agreed to by the prosecuting attorney if the prosecuting attorney has consented to a shorter period under subsection (c));
the court may order the conviction records described in subsection (c) marked as expunged in accordance with section 7 of this chapter.

A person whose records have been ordered marked as expunged under this section is considered to have had the person’s records expunged for all purposes other than the disposition of the records.

IC § 35-38-9-5 Expunging certain serious felony convictions; consent of prosecutor required

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) and section 8.5 of this chapter, this section applies to a person convicted of a felony, including:

(1) an elected official convicted of an offense while serving the official’s term or as a candidate for public office; and

(2) a person convicted of a felony that resulted in serious bodily injury to another person.

(b) This section does not apply to the following:

(1) A sex or violent offender (as defined in IC 11-8-8-5).

(2) A person convicted of official misconduct (IC 35-44.1-1-1).

(3) A person convicted of an offense described in:

(A) IC 35-42-1;

(B) IC 35-42-3.5; or

(C) IC 35-42-4.

(4) A person convicted of two (2) or more felony offenses that:

(A) involved the unlawful use of a deadly weapon; and

(B) were not committed as part of the same episode of criminal conduct.

(c) Not earlier than the later of ten (10) years from the date of conviction, or five (5) years from the completion of the person’s sentence, unless the prosecuting attorney consents in writing to an earlier period, the person convicted of the felony may petition a court to expunge all conviction records, including records contained in:

(1) a court’s files;

(2) the files of the department of correction;

(3) the files of the bureau of motor vehicles; and

(4) the files of any other person who provided treatment or services to the petitioning person under a court order;

that relate to the person’s felony conviction.

(d) A person who files a petition to expunge conviction records shall file the petition in a circuit or superior court in the county of conviction.

(e) If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that:

(1) the period required by this section has elapsed;

(2) no charges are pending against the person;

(3) the person has paid all fines, fees, and court costs, and satisfied any restitution obligation placed on the person as part of the sentence;

(4) the person has not been convicted of a crime within the previous ten (10) years (or within a shorter period agreed to by the prosecuting attorney if the prosecuting attorney has consented to a shorter period under subsection (c)); and

(5) the prosecuting attorney has consented in writing to the expungement of the person’s criminal records;

the court may order the conviction records described in subsection (c) marked as expunged in accordance with section 7 of this chapter. A person whose records have been ordered marked as expunged under this section is considered to have had the person’s records expunged for all purposes other than the disposition of the records.

Early Expungement Attorney in Indiana

Indiana Expungement Law does allow for early expungement.  However, in order to file for early expungement, the prosecutor must agree to the request for early expungement.  Getting a case expunged early is possible and I have done it many times.  However, it can also be very difficult.  The chances of getting a case expunged early vary from county to county, depending on the prosecutor, the type of conviction, and what you have done with your life since the conviction.  Additionally, some counties have a waiting period of over a year for early expungement.  Be cautious before hiring an attorney for early expungement.  There are certain counties and certain convictions where early expungement is simply not realistic.  Unfortunately, there are many dishonest struggling attorneys who will take your money to pursue early expungement when there is no real chance of early expungement being granted.  If you want a blunt honest opinion on whether you should pursue early expungement, contact me at 317-695-7700 or email me at jeffcardella@cardellalawoffice.com  If you are emailing me, make sure to include your date of birth and spelling of your name as it appears on mycase.in.gov  As with any legal matter, use common sense before hiring a lawyer.  Attorneys who produce great results are in high demand and are therefore are more expensive.  If someone quotes you a price for early expungement that seems too good to be true, you are probably throwing your money away. 

Fast Expedited Expungement Attorney in Indianapolis

If you are in need of a fast expedited expungement, my office files most expungement petitions within 24 hours of being hired.  Many expungement providers take up to a year to file a petition.  Keep in mind that once a petition is filed,  it will often take approximately 30 to 90 days (depending on the county) before the petition is granted.  While nothing in government or the legal system is fast, by filing the petition promptly, my office can greatly reduce the length of the process. 

Firearms Rights Restoration Attorney in Indiana and Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does Indiana expungement restore gun rights for convicted felons?

Expungement of a crime of domestic violence under section 2 of this chapter does not restore a person’s right to possess a firearm. The right of a person convicted of a crime of domestic violence to possess a firearm may be restored only in accordance with IC 35-47-4-7.  When the expungement law was originally passed, there was a great deal of debate as to whether the Indiana Expungement Law conflicted with the Federal Gun Control Act.   The Indiana Attorney General was asked to issue an advisory opinion on the following question: “Does an expungement under the Indiana Code restore the rights of an individual to purchase or possess a firearm under the 1968 Gun Control Act [18 U.S.C. § §  921 et seq.]?”  On December 10, 2019, the Indiana Attorney General explained: “Yes, because an [expungement] restores civil rights with no firearm restrictions. Indiana Code § 35-38-9-10(c) specifically provides that an [expungement] ‘fully’ restores the three core civil rights of a person and allows that person to be able to qualify as a ‘proper person’ to obtain a license to carry a firearm without restriction. Because the Gun Control Act disqualifies convictions for which civil rights have been fully restored and no firearm restriction remains, an [expungement] of a felony conviction in Indiana renders a person capable of purchasing and possessing a firearm under federal law.”

  • How much does it cost to get your record expunged in Indiana?

Having a conviction expunged in Indiana requires a filing fee of $157 and a service fee of $5.10.  There is no filing fee to have a dismissed case expunged.  The cost of hiring an expungement attorney can very depending on how many cases you seek to have expunged, how many counties you have cases in, which counties you have cases in, whether your cases are convictions or dismissals, and the level of conviction.

  • Can you get a domestic violence charge expunged in Indiana?

You can get a domestic violence charge expunged in Indiana as long as all other expungement requirements are met. However, it is important to remember that there are some prohibitions on having convictions expunged if there are allegations of bodily injury, depending on the level of conviction.  Additionally, as explained below, having a crime of domestic violence expunged will not automatically restore gun rights.

  • How long does expungement take in Indiana?

In Indiana, the average expungement takes between 30 to 60 days.  However, the expungement process can take much longer if using an out of state service.

  • What is the Indiana Second Chance Law?

Indiana’s expungement law, also known as the Second Chance Law, allows individuals to have certain criminal records expunged or sealed from public view. The law is designed to help individuals with past criminal convictions move on with their lives and have a second chance.

  • Who is generally eligible for expungement?

In Indiana, there are restrictions on who is eligible for expungement. For example, only certain types of crimes are eligible for expungement.  The person must meet certain other requirements, such as having no new convictions for a certain period of time.  The following requirements generally apply:

Completion of Sentence: The individual must have completed their sentence, including any probation, parole, or community service requirements.
Waiting Period: The individual must wait a certain period before applying for expungement. The waiting period depends on the severity of the offense and can range from five to ten years.
No Additional Criminal Convictions: The individual must not have been convicted of any additional criminal offenses during the waiting period.
Payment of all Fines and Restitution: The individual must have paid all fines and restitution associated with the offense.
Eligible Offenses: Not all criminal offenses are eligible for expungement in Indiana. Violent offenses, sex crimes, and offenses that resulted in death are not eligible.

  • What are the steps to have a criminal case expunged?

The process of expungement in Indiana involves several steps. These steps include:

Petition for Expungement: The individual must file a petition for expungement with the court in the county where the offense occurred.
Notice to Prosecutor: The individual must provide notice of the expungement petition to the prosecutor’s office.
Background Check: The court will conduct a background check to determine the individual’s eligibility for expungement.
Hearing: The court can hold a hearing to determine whether the individual is eligible for expungement. The prosecutor’s office and any victims of the crime will have the opportunity to object to the expungement.
Order of Expungement: If the court grants the expungement petition, it will issue an order of expungement. The order will direct all law enforcement agencies and court officials to expunge and/or seal the individual’s criminal record.

  • What is the affect of expungement? 

Once a criminal record is expunged in Indiana, it is sealed from public view. This means that potential employers, landlords, and others will not be able to access the individual’s criminal record. However, some exceptions apply. For example, law enforcement agencies, courts, and certain government agencies may still be able to access the criminal record. Expungement does not mean that the criminal offense never occurred. The expunged criminal record may still be used in certain circumstances, such as in a subsequent criminal case or in a civil lawsuit.

  • Do I need a lawyer to expunge my record in Indiana? 

You do NOT need a lawyer to file expungement in Indiana.  Some individuals ask me if they can do an expungement in Indiana without an attorney.  I always answer this question the same way: “There is no legal requirement that you hire an attorney to do your expungement.  You can try to do your expungement on your own, just as I could try to change the transmission in a car.  It doesn’t mean that it would be a good idea for me to try to do this on my own, and I might cause a lot of damage, but I am allowed to try it.” I get many phone calls from individuals who have tried to do their own expungement asking me if I can fix procedural defects.  In some situations we can and in other situations we can not.  Remember that it is generally much more expensive to hire an attorney to fix a pro se expungement than it is to merely have a lawyer handle the expungement from start to finish.  Also, remember that Indiana Expungement Law generally allows for one expungement petition per lifetime and that if you attempt the process without legal counsel, you may cause damage that can not be fixed.   

  • Indiana Do it Yourself Expungement Indianapolis Assistance? 

If you have already attempted a do it yourself expungement and are in need of assistance, my office can sometimes assist with getting the expungement process back on track. Unfortunately, hiring an attorney to get an expungement corrected is generally more expensive than it would have been to hire an attorney to do the entire process from start to finish. This is akin to having the check engine light come on in your car.  If you take it to a mechanic promptly, they can generally fix whatever the problem is.  If you dont know what you are doing and you try to fix the problem yourself based on information you find on google, it will likely be a more expensive repair or there may be irreparable damage to the vehicle.  Unfortunately, we can not make a money back guarantee when assisting with do it yourself expungements as there are sometimes procedural defects that can not be remedied.

  • How Long do I Need to Wait to Expunge my Criminal Record in Indiana? 

In Indianapolis, Indiana, you can generally expunge a dismissed case 1 year after the date the charges were filed.  To expunge most misdemeanor convictions, you must wait 5 from the date of your last conviction. To expunge most felony convictions, you become eligible 8 years after the date of your last conviction.

2018 Indiana Expungement Law Proposals

The 2018 Senate Enrolled Act 358 proposed expanded eligibility for expungement to individuals with multiple felony convictions under certain circumstances.  The proposal would have expanded the list of eligible offenses for expungement, reduced certain waiting periods, eliminated certain expungement hearings, and made the process of filing expungement easier.

2019 Indiana Expungement Law Proposals

The 2019 House Enrolled Act 1541 would have modified the eligibility requirements for expungement of misdemeanor and Class D felony convictions. The waiting period for expungement of misdemeanors would have been reduced from five to three years, and the waiting period for Class D felonies would have been reduced from eight to five years.  The proposal would have also expanded the list of eligible offenses for expungement, reduced certain waiting periods, eliminated some expungement hearings, and simplified procedural aspects of expungement.

2020 Indiana Expungement Law Proposals

The 2020 House Enrolled Act 1444 added certain non-violent Level 5 and Level 6 felony convictions to the list of eligible convictions for expungement.  The proposal expanded the list of misdemeanors that are eligible for expungement.  The proposal would have reduced the waiting period for certain convictions, eliminated the requirement for a hearing for certain types of expungements, and would have made simplified certain procedural aspects of the expungement process.

2021 Indiana Expungement Law Proposals

The 2021 Senate Enrolled Act 14 proposed for automatic expungement of arrest records in cases where the arrest did not result in a conviction. The law also created a process for expungement of certain low-level marijuana offenses.  The proposal allowed people who have participated in pretrial diversion programs to have their records expunged. Pretrial diversion programs are programs that allow people to avoid a criminal conviction by completing certain requirements, such as attending counseling or paying restitution.  The proposal expanded the list of cases that could be expunged, proposed reductions in the waiting period for certain felonies, eliminated the requirement of a hearing for certain expungements, and simplified the procedures relating to expungement. 

2022 Indiana Expungement Law Updates

In 2022, Indiana passed a law that automatically expunges records of dismissed charges 60 days after the charges are dismissed. This means that people who have been charged with a crime but have not been convicted no longer have to go through the process of petitioning the court for expungement. Unfortunately, the law is not retroactive and individuals who have older cases do not receive automatic expungement.

In 2022, Indiana also passed a law that allows people to have their arrest records expunged if the charges that led to the arrest were later reduced to an infraction. This means that people who have been arrested but not convicted of a crime can have their arrest records cleared.

2023 Indiana Expungement Law Proposals

In 2023, there are currently no proposals pending to change the expungement law in Indiana.

2024 Indiana Expungement Law Proposals

There are several proposals to change expungement laws in Indiana for the 2024 legislative session:

Automatic Expungement:

  • HB 1042: This bill, sponsored by Democratic Representative Greg Porter, proposes automatic expungement for some misdemeanors after five years and most felonies after ten years, as long as no new convictions occur during that timeframe. Eligible offenses include possession of marijuana, battery resulting in no serious injury, and theft under $500.
  • SB 84: This Senate bill, proposed by Republican Senator Michael Young, focuses on automatic expungement for juvenile offenses. Specifically, it would automatically expunge records of certain misdemeanor and felony convictions for individuals who were under 18 at the time of the offense, after five years from the completion of their sentence.

Petition-Based Expungement:

  • HB 1038: This bill, also sponsored by Rep. Porter, would significantly expand the list of offenses eligible for petition-based expungement. It would also reduce the waiting period for certain offenses, such as prostitution and possession of paraphernalia, from five years to two years. Additionally, it would streamline the petition process by eliminating the requirement for a public hearing.
  • SB 100: This Senate bill, sponsored by Republican Senator Liz Watson, takes a more targeted approach to petition-based expungement. It would allow individuals convicted of certain drug offenses, such as possession of a controlled substance, to petition for expungement after five years of completed probation or parole and completion of all court-ordered programs.

Focus on Specific Demographics:

  • HB 1041: This bill, again sponsored by Rep. Porter, aims to create a specialized expungement process for individuals who were wrongfully convicted. It would establish a “Wrongful Conviction Review Commission” tasked with reviewing claims of innocence and recommending expungement for those deserving cases.
  • SB 72: This Senate bill, sponsored by Democratic Senator Shelia Klinker, focuses on expungement for individuals released from prison due to the “ex post facto” clause of the Constitution. This clause prohibits retroactively applying new laws to increase existing punishments. The bill would allow such individuals to petition for expungement of their original convictions.

Additional Statutes Relating to Expungement under Indiana Expungement Law

IC § 35-38-5-5 Petition to limit access to limited criminal history of person discharged from probation, imprisonment, or parole

(a) This section does not apply to a request to a law enforcement agency for the release or inspection of a limited criminal history to a noncriminal justice organization or individual whenever the subject of the request is described in IC 10-13-3-27(a)(8) or IC 10-13-3-27(a)(12).

(b) A person may petition the state police department to limit access to the person’s limited criminal history to criminal justice agencies if more than fifteen (15) years have elapsed since the date the person was discharged from probation, imprisonment, or parole (whichever is later) for the last conviction for a crime.

(c) When a petition is filed under subsection (b), the state police department shall not release limited criminal history to noncriminal justice agencies under IC 10-13-3-27.

IC § 35-38-9-5 Expunging certain serious felony convictions; consent of prosecutor required

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) and section 8.5 of this chapter, this section applies to a person convicted of a felony, including:

(1) an elected official convicted of an offense while serving the official’s term or as a candidate for public office; and

(2) a person convicted of a felony that resulted in serious bodily injury to another person.

(b) This section does not apply to the following:

(1) A sex or violent offender (as defined in IC 11-8-8-5).

(2) A person convicted of official misconduct (IC 35-44.1-1-1).

(3) A person convicted of an offense described in:

(A) IC 35-42-1;

(B) IC 35-42-3.5; or

(C) IC 35-42-4.

(4) A person convicted of two (2) or more felony offenses that:

(A) involved the unlawful use of a deadly weapon; and

(B) were not committed as part of the same episode of criminal conduct.

(c) Not earlier than the later of ten (10) years from the date of conviction, or five (5) years from the completion of the person’s sentence, unless the prosecuting attorney consents in writing to an earlier period, the person convicted of the felony may petition a court to expunge all conviction records, including records contained in:

(1) a court’s files;

(2) the files of the department of correction;

(3) the files of the bureau of motor vehicles; and

(4) the files of any other person who provided treatment or services to the petitioning person under a court order;
that relate to the person’s felony conviction.

(d) A person who files a petition to expunge conviction records shall file the petition in a circuit or superior court in the county of conviction.

(e) If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that:

(1) the period required by this section has elapsed;

(2) no charges are pending against the person;

(3) the person has paid all fines, fees, and court costs, and satisfied any restitution obligation placed on the person as part of the sentence;

(4) the person has not been convicted of a crime within the previous ten (10) years (or within a shorter period agreed to by the prosecuting attorney if the prosecuting attorney has consented to a shorter period under subsection (c)); and

(5) the prosecuting attorney has consented in writing to the expungement of the person’s criminal records;

the court may order the conviction records described in subsection (c) marked as expunged in accordance with section 7 of this chapter.

A person whose records have been ordered marked as expunged under this section is considered to have had the person’s records expunged for all purposes other than the disposition of the records.

IC 35-38-9-6 Effect of expunging misdemeanor and minor Class D and Level 6 felony convictions 

(a) If the court orders conviction records expunged under sections 2 through 3 of this chapter, the court shall do the following with respect to the specific records expunged by the court:

(1) Order:

(A) the department of correction;

(B) the bureau of motor vehicles; and

(C) each:

(i) law enforcement agency; and

(ii) other person;

who incarcerated, provided treatment for, or provided other services for the person under an order of the court;

to prohibit the release of the person’s records or information in the person’s records to anyone without a court order, other than a law enforcement officer acting in the course of the officer’s official duty.

(2) Order the central repository for criminal history information maintained by the state police department to seal the person’s expunged conviction records. Records sealed under this subdivision may be disclosed only to:

(A) a prosecuting attorney, if:

(i) authorized by a court order; and

(ii) needed to carry out the official duties of the prosecuting attorney;

(B) a defense attorney, if:

(i) authorized by a court order; and

(ii) needed to carry out the professional duties of the defense attorney;

(C) a probation department, if:

(i) authorized by a court order; and

(ii) necessary to prepare a presentence report;

(D) the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security, if disclosure is required to comply with an agreement relating to the sharing of criminal history information;

(E) the:

(i) supreme court;

(ii) members of the state board of law examiners;

(iii) executive director of the state board of law examiners; and

(iv) employees of the state board of law examiners, in accordance with rules adopted by the state board of law examiners;

for the purpose of determining whether an applicant possesses the necessary good moral character for admission to the bar;

(F) a person required to access expunged records to comply with the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (12 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) or regulations adopted under the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act; and

(G) the bureau of motor vehicles, the Federal Motor Carrier Administration, and the Commercial Drivers License Information System (CDLIS), if disclosure is required to comply with federal law relating to reporting a conviction for a violation of a traffic control law.

(3) Notify the clerk of the supreme court to seal any records in the clerk’s possession that relate to the conviction.

A probation department may provide an unredacted version of a presentence report disclosed under subdivision (2)(C) to any person authorized by law to receive a presentence report.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (c), if a petition to expunge conviction records is granted under sections 2 through 3 of this chapter, the records of:

(1) the sentencing court;

(2) a juvenile court;

(3) a court of appeals; and

(4) the supreme court;

concerning the person shall be permanently sealed. However, a petition for expungement granted under sections 2 through 3 of this chapter does not affect an existing or pending driver’s license suspension.

(c) If a petition to expunge conviction records is granted under sections 2 through 3 of this chapter with respect to the records of a person who is named as an appellant or an appellee in an opinion or memorandum decision by the supreme court or the court of appeals, the court shall:

(1) redact the opinion or memorandum decision as it appears on the computer gateway administered by the office of technology so that it does not include the petitioner’s name (in the same manner that opinions involving juveniles are redacted); and

(2) provide a redacted copy of the opinion to any publisher or organization to whom the opinion or memorandum decision is provided after the date of the order of expungement.

The supreme court and court of appeals are not required to destroy or otherwise dispose of any existing copy of an opinion or memorandum decision that includes the petitioner’s name.

(d) Notwithstanding subsection (b), a prosecuting attorney may submit a written application to a court that granted an expungement petition under this chapter to gain access to any records that were permanently sealed under subsection (b), if the records are relevant in a new prosecution of the person. If a prosecuting attorney who submits a written application under this subsection shows that the records are relevant for a new prosecution of the person, the court that granted the expungement petition shall:

(1) order the records to be unsealed; and

(2) allow the prosecuting attorney who submitted the written application to have access to the records.

If a court orders records to be unsealed under this subsection, the court shall order the records to be permanently resealed at the earliest possible time after the reasons for unsealing the records cease to exist. However, if the records are admitted as evidence against the person in a new prosecution that results in the person’s conviction, or are used to enhance a sentence imposed on the person in a new prosecution, the court is not required to reseal the records.

(e) If a person whose conviction records are expunged under sections 2 through 5 of this chapter is required to register as a sex offender based on the commission of a felony which has been expunged:

(1) the expungement does not affect the operation of the sex offender registry web site, any person’s ability to access the person’s records, records required to be maintained concerning sex or violent offenders, or any registration requirement imposed on the person; and

(2) the expunged conviction must be clearly marked as expunged on the sex offender registry web site.

(f) Expungement of a crime of domestic violence under section 2 of this chapter does not restore a person’s right to possess a firearm. The right of a person convicted of a crime of domestic violence to possess a firearm may be restored only in accordance with IC 35-47-4-7.

(g) If the court issues an order granting a petition for expungement under sections 2 through 3 of this chapter, the court shall include in its order the information described in section 8(b) of this chapter.

IC § 35-38-9-7 Effect of expunging serious and less serious felony convictions

(a) This section applies only to a person who has filed a petition for expungement under section 4 or 5 of this chapter and whose records have been ordered marked as expunged.

(b) The court records and other public records relating to the arrest, conviction, or sentence of a person whose conviction records have been marked as expunged remain public records. However, the court shall order that the records be clearly and visibly marked or identified as being expunged. A petition for expungement granted under sections 4 through 5 of this chapter does not affect an existing or pending driver’s license suspension.

(c) The state police department, the bureau of motor vehicles, and any other law enforcement agency in possession of records that relate to the conviction ordered to be marked as expunged shall add an entry to the person’s record of arrest, conviction, or sentence in the criminal history data base stating that the record is marked as expunged. Nothing in this chapter prevents the bureau of motor vehicles from reporting information about a conviction for a violation of a traffic control law to the Commercial Drivers License Information System (CDLIS), in accordance with federal law, even if the conviction has been expunged under section 4 or 5 of this chapter.

(d) If the court issues an order granting a petition for expungement under section 4 or 5 of this chapter, the court shall include in its order the information described in section 8(b) of this chapter.

IC § 35-38-9-8 Petition to expunge conviction records

(a) This section applies only to a petition to expunge conviction records under sections 2 through 5 of this chapter. This section does not apply to a petition to expunge records related to the arrest, criminal charge, or juvenile delinquency allegation under section 1 of this chapter.

(b) Any person may seek an expungement under sections 2 through 5 of this chapter by filing a verified petition for expungement. The petition must include the following:

(1) The petitioner’s full name and all other legal names or aliases by which the petitioner is or has been known.

(2) The petitioner’s date of birth.

(3) The petitioner’s addresses from the date of the offense to the date of the petition.

(4) The case number or court cause number, if available.

(5) The petitioner shall affirm that no criminal investigation or charges are pending against the petitioner.

(6) The petitioner shall affirm that the petitioner has not committed another crime within the period required for expungement.

(7) The petitioner shall list all convictions, the cause number of each conviction, if known, the date of the conviction, and any appeals from the conviction and the date any appellate opinion was handed down, if applicable.

(8) The petitioner shall include:

(A) the petitioner’s Social Security number;

(B) the petitioner’s driver’s license number;

(C) the date of the petitioner’s arrest, if applicable; and

(D) the date on which the petitioner was convicted.

(9) The petitioner shall affirm that the required period has elapsed or attach a copy of the prosecuting attorney’s written consent to a shorter period.

(10) The petitioner shall describe any other petitions that the petitioner has filed under this chapter.

(11) For a petition filed under section 5 of this chapter, the petitioner shall attach a copy of the prosecuting attorney’s written consent.

(c) The petitioner may include any other information that the petitioner believes may assist the court.

(d) A person who files a petition under this section is required to pay the filing fee required in civil cases. The court may reduce or waive this fee if the person is indigent.

(e) The petitioner shall serve a copy of the petition upon the prosecuting attorney in accordance with the Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure.

(f) The prosecuting attorney shall inform the victim of the victim’s rights under IC 35-40-6 by contacting the victim at the victim’s last known address. However, if a court has no discretion in granting an expungement petition under this chapter, the prosecuting attorney is not required to inform the victim of the victim’s rights under this subsection.

(g) The prosecuting attorney shall reply to the petition not later than thirty (30) days after receipt. If the prosecuting attorney fails to timely reply to the petition:

(1) the prosecuting attorney has waived any objection to the petition; and

(2) the court shall proceed to consider the petition under section 9 of this chapter.

IC § 35-38-9-8.5 Expungement of certain offenses punishable by an indeterminate sentence

(a) This section applies only to a person seeking to expunge an Indiana offense punishable by an indeterminate sentence under a law other than IC 35-50.

(b) If the offense for which the person was convicted is a misdemeanor at the time the person files the petition for expungement, the person may file the petition for expungement under section 2 of this chapter.

(c) If the offense for which the person was convicted:

(1) is a Level 6 felony at the time the person files the petition for expungement; and

(2) is not substantially similar to an offense described in section 3(b) of this chapter;
the person may file the petition under section 3 of this chapter.

(d) If:

(1) the person to whom this chapter applies may not seek expungement under section 3 of this chapter; and

(2) the offense the person seeks to expunge is not substantially similar to an offense described in section 4(b) of this chapter;
the person may file the petition under section 4 of this chapter.

(e) If the offense for which the person was convicted:

(1) is a felony at the time of filing the petition, including a felony described in section 5(a) of this chapter; and

(2) is not substantially similar to an offense described in section 5(b) of this chapter;

the person may file the petition under section 5 of this chapter.

IC § 35-38-9-9 Duties of court in ruling on Expungement Petitions

(a) If the prosecuting attorney does not object, or has waived objection to the petition under section 8 of this chapter, the court may grant the petition for expungement without a hearing.

(b) The court may summarily deny a petition, if the petition does not meet the requirements of section 8 of this chapter, or if the statements contained in the petition demonstrate that the petitioner is not entitled to relief.

(c) If the prosecuting attorney objects to the petition, the prosecuting attorney shall file the reasons for objecting to the petition with the court and serve a copy of the objections on the petitioner at the time the prosecuting attorney objects to the petition. The court shall set the matter for hearing not sooner than sixty (60) days after service of the petition on the prosecuting attorney.

(d) A victim of the offense for which expungement is sought may submit an oral or written statement in support of or in opposition to the petition at the time of the hearing. The petitioner must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the facts alleged in the verified petition are true.

(e) The grant or denial of a petition is an appealable final order.

(f) If the court grants the petition for expungement, the court shall issue an order of expungement as described in sections 6 and 7 of this chapter.

(g) The order granting the petition for expungement described in sections 6 and 7 of this chapter must include the information described in section 8(b) of this chapter.

(h) This subsection applies only to a petition to expunge conviction records filed under sections 2 through 5 of this chapter. This subsection does not apply to a petition to expunge records related to the arrest, criminal charge, or juvenile delinquency allegation under section 1 of this chapter. A petitioner may seek to expunge more than one (1) conviction at the same time. The petitioner shall consolidate all convictions that the petitioner wishes to expunge from the same county in one (1) petition. A petitioner who wishes to expunge convictions from separate counties must file a petition in each county in which a conviction was entered.

(i) This subsection applies only to a petition to expunge conviction records filed under sections 2 through 5 of this chapter. This subsection does not apply to a petition to expunge records related to the arrest, criminal charge, or juvenile delinquency allegation under section 1 of this chapter. Except as provided in subsections (j) and (k), a petitioner may file a petition for expungement only one (1) time during the petitioner’s lifetime. For purposes of this subsection, all petitions for expungement filed in separate counties for offenses committed in those counties count as one (1) petition if they are filed in one (1) three hundred sixty-five (365) day period.

(j) A petitioner whose petition for expungement has been denied, in whole or in part, may refile that petition for expungement, in whole or in part, with respect to one (1) or more convictions included in the initial expungement petition that were not expunged. However, if the petition was denied due to the court’s exercise of its discretion under section 4 or 5 of this chapter, a petition for expungement may be refiled only after the elapse of three (3) years from the date on which the previous expungement petition was denied. Except as provided in subsection (k), a refiled petition for expungement may not include any conviction that was not included in the initial expungement petition.

(k) A court may permit a petitioner to file an amended petition for expungement with respect to one (1) or more convictions that were not included in the initial expungement petition only if the court finds that:

(1) the petitioner intended in good faith to comply with subsections (h) and (i);

(2) the petitioner’s failure to comply with subsections (h) and (i) was due to:

(A) excusable neglect; or

(B) circumstances beyond the petitioner’s control; and

(3) permitting the petitioner to file a subsequent petition for expungement is in the best interests of justice.

IC § 35-38-9-9.5 Collateral action in a different county

Sec. 9.5. (a) This section applies to a collateral action adjudicated or conducted in a county other than the county in which a court granted an expungement.

(b) Upon receipt of a request to expunge records related to a collateral action and a properly certified expungement order, a circuit or superior court in the county in which the collateral action occurred shall:

(1) notify the prosecuting attorney of the county in which the court is located of the request to expunge records related to a collateral action and set the matter for hearing; or

(2) if it conclusively appears from the court’s records that the person is entitled to expungement as described in subsection (c), order the records expunged without a hearing.

(c) The circuit or superior court in the county in which the collateral action was adjudicated or conducted shall order records of the collateral action expunged (for an expungement granted under sections 1 through 3 of this chapter) or marked as expunged (for an expungement granted under sections 4 through 5 of this chapter), unless the court finds that the collateral action does not relate to the expunged arrest or conviction.

(d) A request to expunge records of a collateral action may be made at any time after the original expungement order is issued.

(e) A request to expunge records shall be filed under the cause number of the collateral action, if applicable. A person who requests expungement of records of a collateral action under this section is not required to pay a filing fee, even if the request is filed under a new cause of action.

IC § 35-38-9-10 unlawful discrimination against a person whose record has been expunged; exceptions 

IC § 35-38-9-10 Unlawful discrimination against a person whose record has been expunged; exceptions

(a) This section does not apply to a person to whom sealed records may be disclosed under section 6(a)(2) of this chapter.

(b) It is unlawful discrimination for any person to:

(1) suspend;

(2) expel;

(3) refuse to employ;

(4) refuse to admit;

(5) refuse to grant or renew a license, permit, or certificate necessary to engage in any activity, occupation, or profession; or

(6) otherwise discriminate against;

any person because of a conviction or arrest record expunged or sealed under this chapter.

(c) Except as provided in section 6(f) of this chapter, the civil rights of a person whose conviction has been expunged shall be fully restored, including the right to vote, to hold public office, to be a proper person under IC 35-47-1-7(2), and to serve as a juror.

(d) In any application for employment, a license, or other right or privilege, a person may be questioned about a previous criminal record only in terms that exclude expunged convictions or arrests, such as: “Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime that has not been expunged by a court?”.

(e) A person whose record is expunged shall be treated as if the person had never been convicted of the offense. However, upon a subsequent arrest or conviction for an unrelated offense, the prior expunged conviction:

(1) may be considered by the court in determining the sentence imposed for the new offense;

(2) is a prior unrelated conviction for purposes of:

(A) a habitual offender enhancement; and

(B) enhancing the new offense based on a prior conviction; and

(3) may be admitted as evidence in the proceeding for a new offense as if the conviction had not been expunged.

(f) Any person that discriminates against a person as described in subsection (b) commits a Class C infraction and may be held in contempt by the court issuing the order of expungement or by any other court of general jurisdiction. Any person may file a written motion of contempt to bring an alleged violation of this section to the attention of a court. In addition, the person is entitled to injunctive relief.

(g) In any judicial or administrative proceeding alleging negligence or other fault, an order of expungement may be introduced as evidence of the person’s exercise of due care in hiring, retaining, licensing, certifying, admitting to a school or program, or otherwise transacting business or engaging in activity with the person to whom the order of expungement was issued.

(h) A conviction that has been expunged under this chapter is not admissible as evidence in an action for negligent hiring, admission, or licensure against a person or entity who relied on the order.

(i) An expungement case, and all documents filed in the case, becomes confidential when the court issues the order granting the petition. However, until the court issues the order granting the petition, documents filed in the case are not confidential, and any hearing held in the case shall be open.

IC § 35-38-9-11 Waiver of expungement in a plea agreement invalid 

(a) A person may not waive the right to expungement under this chapter as part of a plea agreement. Any purported waiver of the right to expungement in a plea agreement is invalid and unenforceable as against public policy.

(b) This section does not prohibit the finding of a waiver of the right to expungement based on a failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter.

IC § 35-38-9-12 Penalties for disclosing an expunged conviction 

Sec. 12. A criminal history provider (as defined in IC 24-4-18-2) that provides a criminal history report containing an expunged conviction is subject to the penalties described in IC 24-4-18-8.

DCS Expungement Attorney in Indiana

IC § 31-33-27 Expungement of Child Abuse or Neglect Reports

IC 31-33-27-1 “Expunge” or “Expungement”

Sec. 1. As used in this chapter, “expunge” or “expungement” means:

(1) the removal or deletion of all information maintained by the department concerning a report, assessment, or determination under this article relating to an incident or condition of child abuse or neglect; and

(2) the destruction or delivery of the information to a person to

whom the information pertains.

IC 31-33-27-2 “Information”

Sec. 2. As used in this chapter, “information” includes all files and records created or maintained by the department. The term includes the original and copies of documents, correspondence, messages, photographs, videotapes, audio recordings, audiovisual recordings, and any other material contained in electronic, paper, or digital form or in other media.

IC 31-33-27-3  Expungement of records; retained information; adoption of rules

Sec. 3. (a) The department shall expunge child abuse or neglect information not later than twenty-four (24) years after the date of birth of the youngest child named in the department’s assessment report as an alleged victim of child abuse or neglect, if:

(1) the department approved the assessment as unsubstantiated; or
(2) the court in a child in need of services case entered a final judgment based on a finding that child abuse or neglect did not occur.

(b) The department may, upon the request of an interested person, expunge information relating to an unsubstantiated assessment of child abuse or neglect at any time, if the department determines that the probative value of the information does not justify its retention in the records of the department.

(c) This subsection applies to information that is not expunged under subsection (a) or (b). The department may retain information relating to an unsubstantiated assessment of child abuse or neglect in paper or digital form or in other media that is accessible only by department employees with access rights established by the department through policy or rule.

(d) Information that is retained in the records of the department under subsection (c) may be used by the department to facilitate its assessment of a subsequent report concerning the same child or family.

(e) The department may not rely solely on information available under subsection (c) to support substantiation of a later report, if information obtained in the assessment of the later report is otherwise insufficient to support a substantiated determination.

(f) The department shall adopt a written policy, and may adopt rules under IC 4-22-2, regarding access to information retained under subsection (c).

IC 31-33-27-4 Expungement of records; amended information

Sec. 4. (a) The department shall expunge child abuse or neglect information relating to a substantiated report not later than the time specified for expungement of the report from the child protection index under IC 31-33-26-15.

(b) The department shall amend information relating to a substantiated report by deleting the name of a person as an alleged perpetrator if:

(1) a court having jurisdiction over a child in need of services proceeding; or

(2) an administrative hearing officer under IC 31-33-26-9;

finds that the person was not a perpetrator of the child abuse or neglect that occurred.

IC 31-33-27-5 Substantiated reports; perpetrator petitions for expungements

Sec. 5. (a) This section applies to information relating to substantiated reports in any records of the department.

(b) An individual identified as a perpetrator of child abuse or neglect in a substantiated report may file a petition with a court exercising juvenile jurisdiction in the county in which the individual resides, requesting that the court order the department to expunge the substantiated report and related information.

(c) The petitioner shall:

(1) name the department as respondent in the petition; and

(2) serve the department with a copy of the petition and a summons.

(d) The court shall hold a hearing on the petition and any response filed by the department, unless a hearing is waived by agreement of the parties.

(e) In considering whether to grant a petition filed under this section, the court may review:

(1) the factors listed in IC 31-39-8-3 in relation to the petitioner, if the substantiated report was the subject of a juvenile court case; and

(2) any facts relating to the petitioner’s current status, activities, employment, contacts with children, or other circumstances relevant to consideration of whether the petition should be granted.

(f) The court may grant the petition if the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that:

(1) there is little likelihood that the petitioner will be a future perpetrator of child abuse or neglect; and

(2) the information has insufficient current probative value to justify its retention in records of the department for future reference.

IC 31-33-27-6 Use of expunged records in civil action

Sec. 6. If the department expunges child abuse or neglect information under this chapter:

(1) at the request of a perpetrator named in an assessment report;

(2) at or after the time for expungement specified in section 4(a) of this chapter; or

(3) under a court order under section 5 of this chapter;

IC 31-39-8-7 applies to any civil action brought against the department or any other agency, entity, or individual, if the content of the expunged information may be relevant to any issue in the civil action.

For the complete text of the Indiana Code, click here.

If you have questions about expungement law and want to speak to an Indiana Expungement Lawyer, call me for a free consultation at 317-695-7700.  I have practiced criminal defense my entire career, teach criminal law at the IU School of Law, and have personally handled thousands of cases. I provide expungement representation in the entire State of Indiana, including Indianapolis, Marion County, Hamilton County, Hendricks County, Boone County, Monroe County, Bloomington, Noblesville, Carmel, Fishers, Danville, and Plainfield.

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