If you have questions about obtaining money, compensation, or restitution for wrongful conviction or incarceration in Indiana, contact me at 317-695-7700 for a free consultation. I have been a criminal defense attorney in Indiana for my entire legal career and have well over a decade of experience.  I also teach criminal law at the IU School of Law.


Actually innocent

Compensation for wrongful incarceration; amount

Waiver of other claims

Maximum amount of compensation

Judicial review

The main parts of the pertinent statute are as follows:

IC 5-2-23 Restitution for Wrongfully Incarcerated Persons

Section 1 – Application

(a) This chapter does not apply to a person who has received, in any jurisdiction, an award for restitution or damages concerning a conviction, or a conviction’s underlying criminal investigation, against the state of Indiana or a political subdivision and any applicable state agency, official, member, officer, agent, or employee, or the successor to any of those individuals, as applicable.

(b) Subject to subsection (a), this chapter applies to a person:

(1) sentenced to the department of correction or a county jail as the result of a criminal conviction;

(2) who is pardoned by the governor, or whose conviction is vacated, reversed, or set aside;

(3) who is actually innocent; and

(4) who has not:

(A) previously applied for restitution under this chapter for the same conviction or any associated criminal investigation; or

(B) received compensation in any form from the state of Indiana or a political subdivision for claims related to the conviction or any associated criminal investigation.

Section 2 – “Actually innocent”

As used in this chapter, “actually innocent” means, with respect to a particular offense, that a person:

(1) did not commit the offense; and

(2) did not:

(A) commit;

(B) take part in; or

(C) plan, prepare for, or participate in the planning or preparation of;

any other criminal act in connection with that offense.

The mere fact that the trier of fact acquitted or did not convict the person on remand is insufficient, standing alone, to establish that the person is actually innocent.

Section 3 – Compensation for wrongful incarceration; amount

(a) Subject to section 4 of this chapter, and except as provided in section 5 of this chapter, a person to whom this chapter applies is entitled to compensation in the amount of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) for each year that the person was incarcerated in the department of correction (including a facility under contract to the department of correction) or a county jail for a conviction that was vacated. Compensation for a partial year of incarceration shall be calculated on a pro rata basis.

(b) A person is not entitled to compensation under this chapter for time spent in pretrial detention, home detention, or work release.

(c) The criminal justice institute shall pay compensation owed under this chapter in equal sums distributed over five (5) years.

 Section 4 – Waiver of other claims

A person to whom this chapter applies is entitled to compensation under this chapter only if the person forever releases, discharges, and waives any and all claims against the following persons or entities, as applicable:

(1) The state of Indiana.

(2) A political subdivision.

(3) Any applicable state agency.

(4) Any current or former:

(A) official;

(B) member;

(C) officer;

(D) agent; or

(E) employee;

of an entity described in subdivisions (1) through (3).

(5) The successor to any person described in subdivision (4).

Section 5 – Maximum amount of compensation

(a) A person is entitled to compensation for only the period of incarceration that is solely attributable to the conviction that is vacated. A person is not entitled to compensation for the part of a sentence that is served concurrently with a sentence for a conviction that is not vacated.

(b) The maximum amount of compensation that a person may receive under this chapter is fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) per year, regardless of the number of convictions vacated.

Section 10 – Judicial review

A person may seek judicial review of a determination made by the criminal justice institute under this chapter in accordance with IC 4-21.5-5. However, an applicant appealing an adverse determination is not required to pay for the cost of producing the record.

If you are in need of an Indiana expungement attorney, Indiana criminal defense attorney, or forfeiture attorney, or have questions about the Indiana Expungement Law please call me for a free consultation at 317-695-7700. I have personally defended thousands of cases, teach criminal law at the IU School of Law, am a top rated attorney, and have practiced criminal defense my entire career. Additional information about my office is available on the home page and the in the news page.

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