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Trial Court Erred in Denying Petition for Expungement

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The Indiana Court of Appeals Ruled that a Trial Court Erred in Denying a Petition for Expungement

A petitioner appealed a trial court’s ruling denying a petition for expungement of his criminal record claiming the trial court erred when it denied his request. The Indiana Court of Appeals agrees and reverses the trial court’s decision.

The petitioner was initially charged with six counts: 1) attempted robbery, a class A felony, 2) conspiracy to commit robbery, a class A felony, 3) burglary, a class A felony, 4) conspiracy to commit burglary, a class A felony, 5) aggravated battery, a class B felony, and 6) battery with a deadly weapon, a class C felony.

Plea negotiations resulted in a seventh count, conspiracy to commit burglary, a class B felony. The plea deal resulted in the state dropping the first six counts and the accused pleading guilty to the seventh count. The petitioner was sentenced to sixteen years with eight years suspended. The sentence was later modified to probation.

After completing probation, the petitioner filed his petition for expungement of his criminal record. Upon filing his petition, the State of Indiana responded stating it was “somewhat unclear as to whether or not [Petitioner] is eligible” for expungement noting “serious bodily injury during the course of that crime did occur.” Despite all charges involving bodily injury being dismissed under the plea deal, the trial court denied the petition for expungement, a ruling which was appealed.

On appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals reviewed the trial court’s decision under the statute for an abuse of discretion and reversed the decision. Allen is indeed eligible for expungement of his criminal record.

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