Dealing with a criminal record in Indianapolis, IN, can be taxing, but an experienced criminal defense attorney can help lighten that burden through the expungement process. Clearing such records will help you regain your freedom and remove obstacles in your future.
Don’t let old mistakes hold you back any longer. If you’re in the Indianapolis, Indiana, area and have past arrests or convictions that are haunting you, let us help. Contact one of our attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC, to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Indianapolis expungement lawyer by calling (317) 759-2599.
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How Suhre & Associates, LLC Can Help With Your Expungement Case in Indianapolis
If a past criminal record continues to affect your life and you’re eligible for expungement, Suhre & Associates, LLC is equipped to help. Our Indianapolis criminal defense attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience; we know how the system works as well as anyone. Here’s how we can assist you:
We provide a no-charge initial consultation. In this session, we review your situation, discuss Indiana law regarding expungement procedures, and assess whether successful results can be expected from our work together.
Filing the Petition
Once we’ve assembled everything needed, we will then file the expungement petition on your behalf with the proper courthouse.
Representation in Court
Most cases require minimal involvement from you, and we can manage most aspects of the process on your behalf. There may be times, though, when attendance at court hearings is necessary, especially if the prosecutor objects to your expungement application.
We’re here to help with every aspect of the expungement process and advocate on your behalf in these crucial moments.
After filing for expungement, our support and legal guidance won’t stop there. We remain available as part of your team throughout this complex process to address any concerns if they arise during or after the expungement process.
Don’t allow past convictions to continue impacting your life; contact Suhre & Associates, LLC for a free consultation with an experienced expungement lawyer in Indianapolis.
Overview of Expungement in Indianapolis
Expungement refers to the legal process by which you can have criminal convictions or arrests eliminated from public records. This procedure effectively wipes your slate clean, hiding past mistakes and allowing a fresh start.
When charges are successfully expunged, background checks won’t reveal your past criminal record except in very limited circumstances – like applying for a job in law enforcement.
What Charges Can Be Expunged Under Indiana Law?
There are several types of charges and cases that can be expunged, and understanding what they are and what the requirements are is essential.
Expungement of a Case that Did Not Result in a Conviction
Indiana Code 35-38-9-1 allows for the expungement of court cases that did not lead to a conviction. This could include scenarios such as cases dismissed due to diversion agreements, conditional discharge, cases where you were found not guilty, or situations where your charges were dismissed by the prosecutor for other reasons.
No matter how serious your charge was, it is eligible for expungement under this statute, and the expungement must be granted if all stipulations are satisfied. Requirements include:
No Ongoing Legal Issues
When seeking this relief, you cannot be enrolled in any pretrial diversion programs and can’t have any ongoing legal issues pending.
Additionally, you must wait at least one year from the closure of your case before filing.
However, for cases from 2022 and later, expungements for this category may be automatic, meaning no application is required.
Expungement of a Misdemeanor Conviction
Indiana Code 35-38-9-2 permits the expungement of misdemeanor convictions. This also includes those cases that were initially charged as a Level 6 or Class D felony but were reduced under Alternative Misdemeanor Sentencing (AMS).
The statute mandates that if all requirements are fulfilled, the judge must grant your petition for expungement. The requirements include:
Before seeking expungement of your conviction, you must wait 5 years from your conviction date (not arrest date). However, this waiting period can be waived with written approval from the prosecutor.
Payments Must Be Complete
All payments must be made before an expungement can be granted, including fines, restitution, and all other court-related costs.
No Legal Issues For 5 Years
Before filing an expungement application, applicants must maintain a clean criminal history for 5 years leading up to the application for expungement.
This statute does not apply to individuals who have been convicted of multiple separate felony offenses involving deadly weapons, in addition to those classified as sex offenders or violent offenders.
Expungement of a Level 6 Felony or Class D Felony Conviction
According to the rule, if all statutory requirements are met by you as the petitioner, the court must grant your request without any discretion on its part. Requirements include:
You’ll need to wait for 8 years from your conviction date before applying, though this requirement can be waived if the prosecutor consents or alternative misdemeanor sentencing applies, in which case the waiting period is reduced to 5 years.
Payments Must Be Complete
All monetary obligations coming from your sentence – such as fines, fees, and restitution – must be paid in full prior to the granting of an expungement.
No Ongoing Legal issues
You must not have any pending legal charges when you file for expungement.
No Convictions for 8 Years
You cannot have any convictions from the 8 years leading up to your expungement petition. This includes convictions from Indiana and other jurisdictions.
Filing for expungement of major felony convictions (meaning Level 5 and above) can sometimes be possible, but it’s important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible if you are trying to do this – it’s more complicated than expunging these less serious charges.
Why Is It So Important To Get Your Record Expunged?
Having a criminal record expunged is essential for several reasons. Here are some of the main reasons it’s so beneficial:
Most employers perform background checks during the hiring process, and having a criminal history can considerably decrease your chances of securing employment. Through expungement, these obstacles are eradicated, granting you the freedom to apply for jobs without being held back by previous incidents.
Landlords conduct thorough background checks when considering potential tenants for rental property, so having a criminal past could limit your options and hinder attempts at renting. Expungement enhances your potential living options, offering more choices and eliminating unnecessary hurdles.
Increased Travel Freedom
Being marked with a criminal record can sometimes complicate international travel as various countries may restrict or even deny entry to those carrying such histories. But by having your criminal record expunged, these barriers are often lifted.
Personal and Social Benefits
Having a criminal record can create personal guilt and unwanted social stigma. By expunging your record, you can gain closure from past events, leading to improved mental health and smoother social interactions.
Peace of Mind
One ultimate benefit of expungement is the peace of mind it brings. It spares you from constant worry that a past error will appear as public evidence and interfere in your future pursuits.
While this list is not exhaustive, it highlights some compelling reasons why expungement can be a critical step toward a better future.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With Our Indianapolis Expungement Lawyers
We understand that a criminal record can significantly restrict your future. An effective and understanding expungement attorney has the potential to transform your life by erasing mistakes from the past, enabling you to live freely again without repercussions of previous convictions.
The attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC understand that every person deserves a second chance. For help, contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an Indianapolis expungement lawyer.