Can I Get My Record Expunged Yet?
Several times throughout the day we talk with prospective expungement clients who are not quite ready, according to statute, to get their case(s) expunged. Although the expungement statute is clear in regards to the time frames of what can be expunged and when, there is some wiggle room the statute allows for the prosecutor to waive the time frames involved.
If your case was dismissed (via diversion, prosecutor dismissal, or beating the case at trial) you can file for an expungement one year after the date of arrest, criminal charge, or juvenile delinquency allegation as long as you were not convicted.
If you were convicted of any level of misdemeanor, whether it is a class A, B, or C misdemeanor, you must wait five years from the date of conviction. Additionally, you are required to have a clean criminal history for the last five years from the date you wish to file your petition. Also, there cannot be any charges pending against you and all fines or fees associated with the case sought to be expunged must be paid. Class D (or Level 6)felony conviction expungements are similar to that of misdemeanor expungements in that all fees must be paid and that you must not have any charges pending against you. However, it must be at least eight years from the date you were convicted and you must have a clean criminal history for the last eight years from the date you wish to file. Additionally, for those convicted of crimes higher than a Class D felony (Class C, B, or A/Level 5, 4, 3, 2, 1), the timeline is eight years from the date of conviction (ten years if it was a crime that involved serious bodily injury) as well as three years removed from any sentence served (five years if it was a crime that involved serious bodily injury).
Although the above timelines are required by statute, the law allows the county prosecutor to waive the one, five, or eight year requirements and allow individuals to petition earlier. In our experience, the criteria most prosecutors use to analyze varies by county. Some prefer character references, others want a detailed statement from the petitioner explaining what it is they have done differently since being convicted, other counties will refuse to listen early expungement pleas and will never waive the time period. This is why it is super important to at least do a consultation with an experienced expungement attorney who knows which counties you might have a higher chance of success with an early expungement.
Finally, the law does not allow for all crimes to be expunged. It prevents those defined as a sex or violent offender (as defined by Indiana code 11-8-8-5). Some of the most commonly charged sex offenses that are not expunge-able include rape, child molesting, child solicitation, sexual misconduct with a minor (with some exceptions), and sexual battery. Violent crimes that are not allowed to be expunged include murder, voluntary manslaughter, and the attempt or conspiracy of any of the above crimes. Additionally, if a person is convicted of two or more felony offenses that involved the unlawful use of a deadly weapon and were not committed as part of the same episode of criminal conduct, they will also not be eligible to get those cases expunged.
As is usually the case with most legal situations, the chances for a successful early expungement will depend on the county, prosecutor, and specific facts of your situation. Considering you only get one chance in your lifetime to be able to file for an expungement, it is super important to talk to an Indianapolis Expungement attorney who handles expungements on a daily basis and knows the expungement law inside and out. Give Banks & Brower a call and one of their Indianapolis Expungement lawyers can assist you through the process and tell you everything you need to know to get your record cleaned up at (317) 870-0019 or contact us online.