In order to get a Certificate of Actual Innocence in Indiana, you must meet a strict set of criteria. If you do not qualify to receive a Certificate of Actual Innocence, you may still be eligible for other forms of record sealing, such as criminal record expungement. Continue reading to learn more about these rare certificates, and how to obtain one for yourself in Indiana.
Innocent of a Crime?
A Certificate of Actual Innocence is the highest form of criminal record expungement, and just under a legal pardon. When a person is arrested and charged with a crime, and the charges are later dropped because it is found that the person was entirely innocent of the crime in question, they could qualify for a Certificate of Actual Innocence. Basically, it is a state issued notarized legal document acknowledging that a person should never have been arrested or charged with a crime because they were entirely innocent. This often happens as a result of mistaken identity or when a person is framed for a crime. Not only does a Certificate of Actual Innocence lawfully seal a conviction or arrest from a person’s criminal record, it affirms that the criminal mark should never have existed at all.
Those Who Do Not Qualify
If a person is arrested, charged, and found guilty of a crime, but then their conviction was later overturned, they would not qualify for a Certificate of Actual Innocence. Instead, they would be possible candidates for criminal record expungement. There are still various prerequisites that must be met in order to qualify for criminal record expungement. These often include the amount of time that has passed since the arrest or overturned conviction, the severity of the crime, past criminal activity, pending charges, and more. If you have questions about your eligibility for both criminal record expungement and a Certificate of Actual Innocence, talk to a licensed Indianapolis criminal record expungement lawyer for professional advice you can trust.