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Expungement In Indiana


According to a recent report, as many as 100 million Americans have criminal convictions on their records. These individuals face significantly more hurdles in life. Nearly every job application in the United States will ask prospective employees about their criminal record.  Some people with criminal convictions are also prohibited from carrying a firearm, which decreases the likelihood they can successfully defend themselves if attacked.  Those who choose to ignore those laws risk significant prison sentences if the police catch them with a firearm.

Even if an individual had no defense to the crime to which they plead guilty, an effective Indianapolis expungement lawyer may be able to get that conviction expunged if enough time has passed. If the criminal case was dismissed, the waiting period is only 1 year from the date of the arrest. Life is hard enough. There’s usually no reason to let a criminal record make it harder.


Over 90 percent of Marion County criminal are resolved without a trial, either because of a plea agreement or a dismissal. Judges place many of these individuals on probation. An agreement to withhold prosecution, commonly known as a diversion, is one of the most common ways people get their cases dismissed.

Judges formally enter Judgment of conviction when they plead guilty.  With a diversion, however, the judge simply sets a compliance hearing to make sure the Defendant does what they’ve agreed to do.  If the defendant successfully completes the terms, the judge dismisses the formal charges on a motion from the State.

Successfully completing the terms of a diversion is often much easier than perfectly completing probation. If the Defendant misses a deadline or two, most judges and prosecutors are willing to allow extensions for the Defendant to complete the terms. That’s especially true if an Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer advocates for the defendant at this point.

Diversion agreements are often a high-reward proposition for those accused of crimes. Unfortunately, prosecutors will not always offer a diversion, especially on OWI cases and felony cases.  But when they do, it can be an excellent way to resolve a criminal matter.

Formal Expungement

Lawmakers overhauled Indiana’s expungement law in 2013. These changes expanded eligibility, but also made the process much more complex.

Criminal cases where you were arrested (or summoned) but not convicted may be expunged after one year since the date of the arrest.  The law does not give the prosecutor or Judge the option of denying the request, provided you meet the other criteria for eligibility. This option applies to dismissals pursuant to diversions, as well.

Misdemeanor convictions, as well as most low-level felony convictions, may be eligible for expungement as well.  In all expungements, the record still exists, but all the government agencies that keep the records are Court-ordered to not disclose it to anyone. So, if a landlord, employer, or anyone else asks the government about criminal convictions, the government cannot reveal them. The requirements are:

  • No more than one conviction involving a deadly weapon,
  • No prior sexual offenses,
  • No pending criminal cases,
  • All fines, fees, and costs must be paid,
  • Required waiting period has passed, unless prosecutors agree.
  • No new convictions since the waiting period started.

Executive pardon may be an option as well, although such actions are rare.

Reach Out to a Marion County Attorney

Criminal suspects have important rights when their cases go to court. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Indianapolis, contact Rigney Law LLC. Convenient payment plans are available.



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