How can I clear my criminal record - for job searches and other purposes?
Frequently clients talk to us about how criminal convictions and even dismissed charges appear on background checks and cause problems with obtaining employment, housing disqualification, and loss of other opportunities and benefits. Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, you may be eligible to have your record expunged or at least restricted so that criminal history does not appear on background checks.
Some of the possibilities are explained below:
I. If you were accused of a crime and no charges were filed or if the charges were dismissed:
1. Pursuant to Indiana Code 35-38-5-1, you are entitled expungement if the charges were not filed or were dropped because of mistaken identity, no crime was committed, or there was no probable cause. Although this sounds good, it is easy for the prosecutor to object to your petition and win – because only the prosecutor can really say why the charges were dropped.
2. Another statute, Indiana Code 35-38-5-5.5 says that if charges are not filed, dismissed, or you are acquitted (found not guilty after trial), your records can be restricted so that only criminal justice organizations – basically police and courts – have access to them.
II. If you were convicted (found guilty) of a crime:
1. Indiana Code 35-38-8-1, et seq. says that if you were convicted of a misdemeanor or class D felony (and did not injure a person), then eight (8) years after you complete the sentence, provided that you have not been charged with any other felonies, you are entitled to have your records restricted so that only police and courts have access to them.
2. Indiana Code 35-38-5-5 says that fifteen (15) years after you complete the sentence, you are entitled to have your records restricted.
3. Indiana law allows for post-conviction relief in some very limited circumstances. Essentially, post-conviction relief allows you to challenge your conviction after the court process has concluded based on some legal error or insufficiency. If you are successful with a petition for post-conviction relief, your conviction will be set aside.
The procedures described above are of varying complexity – some are relatively simple and others highly complex. Please let us know if we can help you clear your record.
The information contained within this website is not legal advice. To obtain legal advice you must consult with an attorney at GRINER & COMPANY, ATTORNEYS AT LAW. The material in this website is only for information purposes and may not be up-to-date. Nothing in this website is intended to create an attorney-client relationship. GRINER & COMPANY, ATTORNEYS AT LAW are licensed to practice law only in the State of Indiana.
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