The Difference Between Federal Law and State Law

When you or someone you love is facing criminal charges, it is wise to start doing your research in order to better understand the law and what you might expect during the judicial process. The most fundamental place to start is to learn the difference between state and federal law. One area of law involves misdemeanor convictions, while the other deals with felonies.

Continue reading to learn what you need to know about state and federal law, including what they are, when they were created, who created them, their constitutional power, and much more.

State and Federal Criminal Record
State and Federal Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514

State Law

State law refers to the laws that each individual state in the United States of America use to govern their citizens. They are sanctioned by the state legislature, and implemented upon the governor’s signature. State laws are only applicable in their own state, however, many states share the same types of laws. Not only do these laws pertain to both residents and visitors to the state, they also apply to business entities, corporations, and all other organizations that operate within the state borders.

When a person breaks a law on a state level, they face being convicted of a misdemeanor. There are multiple levels of misdemeanors, all of which come with their own separate set of penalties and repercussions.

Federal Law

Federal law was created by the United States Congress. Before a law can become a federal one, a bill must be passed by both houses of Congress, and signed off by the President of the United States. These laws pertain to everyone in all 50 states in the country, regardless of citizenship. The U.S. Constitution shapes the foundation for federal law by establishing government power and responsibility, as well as protecting citizen rights.

When a person breaks a law on a federal level, they face being convicted of a felony offense. There are multiple levels of felonies, all of which come with their own separate set of penalties and repercussions. Common federal offenses include murder, sexual assault, fraud, theft, and drug trafficking.

Want to Remove Misdemeanors and Felonies From Your Criminal Record? Look to Expungement.

State and Federal Criminal Record Expungement

In order for a federal charge to be expunged from a person’s criminal record, the conviction must have been dismissed by the court. Once a federal record is expunged, all official records and references of a conviction is erased, with the exception of the Department of Justice.

To expunge an arrest, charge, or conviction on a state level, a pre-determined amount of time must pass by since the date of the charge. Additionally, a state criminal record can only be expunged if the charges were later dropped because a judge determined no crime was committed, were later dropped because there was no probable cause, or the arrest never lead to criminal charges.

Learn More About Qualifying for Indiana Record Expungement

Call our Indianapolis criminal defense law firm at 317-636-7514 if you would like to petition for restricted access or expunge an arrest from your criminal record in Indiana. We are happy to provide free initial consultations to discuss your case without any out-of-pocket obligations. And our rates start as low as $850! Whether you are looking to seal or expunge a criminal record, we are the criminal lawyers to trust for a hassle-free petitioning process. Take advantage of this opportunity and get your criminal record expunged this year!

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Can Guilty Pleas Be Appealed?

From tattoos and vacation destinations, to job relocations, divorce settlements, and more, sometimes we have instant regret after making a huge life altering decision. And like the rest of us, many defendants in criminal court are no stranger to this feeling. That is why defendants often wonder if they can take back their plea and plea differently. Unfortunately, the law doesn’t accommodate such requests. Continue reading to learn why.

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Criminal Record Expungement Lawyer 317-636-7514

Approved Appeals

After a person is found guilty of a crime they were charged with, they do not have to agree with the judge or jury’s findings. Defendants are given the right to appeal a verdict and ask for a new trial in appellate court. This procedural right is denoted in the United States Constitution, Article 7, Section 6. For this purpose, they often hire a criminal defense attorney who is a certified, court-recognized criminal appellate lawyer. These are lawyers who are certified through their state bar organizations and specialize in appealing convictions.

Rejected Appeals

As a defendant in criminal court, you have the right to file for an appeal to overturn the conviction, or certain perimeters of the conviction. However, if you have already agreed to and entered a guilty plea, whether you went to trial or not, there is no chance at appealing your verdict. This also applies to no contest or nolo contendere pleas. However, in place of an appeal, you could enter a “motion to withdraw” your plea, which simply means you have changed your mind and wish to plea differently.

Filing an appeal and withdrawing a plea are two different processes. The laws and regulations for withdrawing plea deals vary greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. It also differs between state and federal levels, as federal court has its own unique appeals process compared to state-level ones. In some states, limited indirect appeals are permitted, and can be pursued without withdrawing a plea; a processed referred to as “filing a writ of habeas corpus.” And this process is very similar to the appeals process. Because of these variations, it is important to check with your criminal defense attorney to learn your state’s particular laws about such procedures.

How to Clean Up Your Criminal Records in Indiana

A new law regarding criminal record expungement has recently been passed in Indiana, which means qualified individuals can have their criminal records concealed from public access. The new law is also known as the Indiana Second Chance Law, and it involves a complicated petitioning process. For this reason, it is necessary to hire a criminal lawyer who it well-versed in the new laws to help you with your petition.

Indianapolis Criminal Record Expungement Lawyer

Call our Indianapolis criminal record expungement lawyers at 317-636-7514 if you would like to petition for restricted access or expunge an arrest from your criminal record in Indiana. We are happy to provide free initial consultations to discuss your case without any out-of-pocket obligations. And our rates start as low as $850!

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Can the Indiana Expungement Law Help Juveniles?

Do you worry about your child’s future because of their past arrest or criminal record? Everything from their college admissions and dating, to professional licensing, mortgage loans, and more, can be negatively affected by a criminal record. Fortunately, the Indiana Criminal Record Expungement law might be able to provide your loved one with some legal relief, and put your mind at ease.

However, before you get your hopes up, you must know that there are several stipulations and limitations to expunging criminal records, primarily qualifying. Furthermore, the law is complex, so be prepared to hire a criminal defense lawyer who specializes in expungement so that your child’s petition is secured.

Continue reading to learn how juveniles might benefit from Indiana criminal record expungement, and who to trust for accurate legal advice and petition services in Indianapolis.

Criminal Record Expungement Attorney
Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514

Don’t Make the Biggest Mistake

When it comes to petitioning for criminal history expungement, the worst mistake you can make is to NOT hire a qualified lawyer. Attempting to petition for expungement on your own is a huge set up for disaster. Not only is the legal process and actual petition both highly complex, petitioners only get one chance in their entire lifetime to apply for expungement. The petition is so strict and complicated that just a single, insignificant mistake, like a skipped line or misspelled name, will revoke a person’s petition. After a petition is revoked, you do not get another try.

A criminal defense lawyer who specializes in expungement and sealing services will ensure that a petition is filled out precisely, submitted on time and to the proper departments. All of these elements of the petition process are vital. But filing a criminal record expungement petition correctly is not the only thing you must ensure. There is also the matter of qualifying.

Qualification for Expungement

In order to be eligible for criminal record expungement, there are certain facts that must exist. The most important requirement is that a person must be 18 years of age to petition for criminal record expungement in Indiana. Additional qualification factors are time and charge. A specific amount of time must pass from the date of the arrest in order for a petitioner to be eligible.

For instance, a person expunging a basic misdemeanor DUI charge must wait at least 5 years from the date of their arrest. This will affect your child’s petition since they will likely not be eligible until they are already a legal adult. For example, if your child was arrested on their 16th birthday for drug possession, they won’t be eligible for expungement until they are 21 years old.

Get a Personal Assessment for Your Expungement Eligibility

Call Attorney David E. Lewis at 317-636-7514 to see if your love one is eligible for Indiana criminal record expungement assessed. Our services start as low as $850, so anyone can afford to clean up their record. Call 317-636-7514 to schedule a consultation, today.

Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514
Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514
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What Does Your Background Check Say About You?

If you were to run a background check on yourself, do you know what it would say? Do you know what kind of information would be listed and how it would affect both your personal and professional life? Continue reading to learn what basic background scans reveal about a person, how it can influence work and social affairs, and most importantly, what you can do if your criminal history needs some improvement.

Criminal Record Expungement Attorney
Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514

The Consequences of a Criminal Record

If your criminal history report is not something you are proud of, it is likely holding you back from a more promising future with better opportunities. Everything from dating and community inclusion, to housing rentals, loans, school admissions, employment, professional licensing, and more, can be negatively affected if you have a criminal record. Let’s say you are preparing to enter the dating world, but you have a felony on your criminal record for domestic violence.

If a potential date decides to run a background scan on you, it could push quality dating partners away. In another example, a poor criminal record can prompt an employer to demote or fire you, or pass you up on a well-deserved promotion. When it comes to renting an apartment, getting a loan, moving into a new neighborhood, or joining a new community, a poor criminal record can have negative ripples just as easily as it can in the other, above-mentioned examples.

Basic Background Scans

There are several ways a person can look up your criminal record. Most basic scans are free and open to the public, while more in-depth scans are not free. Employers and professional authorities are the common parties that use detailed background scans. As for the general public, anyone can run a basic scan for free, or choose more detailed options for a small fee.

Basic background checks generally reveal the following information:

➤ Full Legal Name
➤ Age/Date of Birth
➤ Residence
➤ Marital Status
➤ Arrest Records
➤ Driving Records
➤ Employment History
➤ Credit Report

Want to know what your personal record says? See our blog, “How to Do a Background Check” to learn how. To best gauge the integrity of background check websites, read customer reviews or look for professional associations and certifications. You may also use your city’s government webpage for background scanning and more. For Indianapolis, call the Indianapolis Police Department at 317-327-3153 for limited criminal history records and inquiries.

How to Clean Up Your Criminal Records in Indiana

Call our legal office at 317-636-7514 to learn your eligibility for criminal record expungement in Indiana. We are eager to help you get the fresh start in life that you deserve! Our services start as low as $850, so you can afford to clean up your record just as much as the next guy. Call 317-636-7514 to schedule a consultation, today.

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Make 2020 the Year of Improvement By Cleaning Up Your Criminal Record

Are you tired of being subjected to the consequences of having an arrest or criminal record from your past? Are you ready for better job opportunities, better housing, and more confidence in the dating world? If so, make this year the year of change, and finally do something about it with the help of Indiana’s Second Chance Law. Continue reading to learn what you need to know about criminal record expungement and sealing, including how to learn if you qualify and where to get started on your petition.

Criminal Record Expungement Attorney
Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514

Indiana Criminal Record Expungement

A couple of years ago, Indiana legislature passed a new law that allows certain individuals to conceal their criminal records from the general public, known as criminal record expungement and sealing. Although not everyone qualifies for criminal record expungement, this new law truly gives people another chance at making their lives better since their criminal record won’t hold them back from dating, better jobs, promotions, renting a nicer home, getting approved for a loan, and much more.

Once expunged or sealed, the public can no longer access your criminal record. It will be hidden from public view, including potential employers, rental companies, banks, school admission offices, and even the girl you are about to ask out for dinner. The only authorities that can still access expunged and sealed records is the government, including law enforcement, courts, and jails.

Record Expungement v. Record Sealing

There are two types of Second Chance Laws: expungement and sealing. For those who do not qualify for expungement, they may have a shot at being approved for record sealing. You see, those only qualify for criminal record expungement under very strict list of factors. There are several variables that determine who is eligible to get their record expunged in Indiana. Upon qualification, most misdemeanors, class D felonies, arrest records, and even infractions like traffic tickets and evictions, can all potentially be eliminated from a person’s personal record.

If a person was arrested and found guilty, or pleaded guilty, to a charge, then they can only apply to seal their criminal records. This means these records will not be physically destroyed and will still be accessible by the police, federal government, FBI, immigration, and all other public officials. However, when criminal records are sealed, they are no longer visible on public background check databases or accessible by employers, landlords, and other general public.

A person can only expunge arrest records that never ended in a conviction. This means arrests that were later dropped, acquitted, or dismissed can be completely expunged from physical and online databases. Although government officials and police can still access these records, just as they can sealed records, the general public cannot ever see them, and a person can legally claim to never have been arrested. See our blog, “FAQs About Sealing and Expunging Criminal Records” to learn more about the difference between the two.

It’s a Once in a Lifetime Opportunity

When someone wants to explore their options for criminal record expungement, it is important to first and fully understand that a person can only apply and be granted expungement one time in their entire lives. This means you cannot apply to have additional criminal and arrest records expunged after already having your records concealed in the past.

If you decide to pursue criminal record concealment, be sure that all your paperwork, filing, deadlines, and additional requirements are accurate and in-line. Failing to file even one document, or filing it incorrectly, can instantly eliminate your chances of expunging your criminal history, forever. This is why it is vital to enlist the services of a licensed attorney, familiar with your state’s new expungement laws, to facilitate the entire process to ensure that everything is done properly.

How to Get Started on Your Petition

Call 317-636-7514 to learn your eligibility for criminal record expungement in Indiana. We are eager to help you get the fresh start in life that you deserve! Our services start as low as $850, so you can afford to clean up your record just as much as the next guy. Call 317-636-7514 to schedule a consultation, today.

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Basic Background Checks vs Comprehensive Background Checks

Background checks are not what you would call a dime a dozen. There are countless types of background checks and scans to choose from, all of which offering different kinds of information and to varying extents. Some background checks are for traffic-related histories, while others for rental histories, vehicular reports, and more. The most common type of background check is the type that others will perform to learn the criminal history of a particular person.

However, criminal history scans are also widely diversified. There are several sources of background check scans to choose from, some for a fee and some for free. The type chosen will depend on a few factors, such as the budget for background checking, the available sources, and the extent of information the user is looking for. Regardless of the type of background check used on someone, all types can be classified as either basic or comprehensive. The difference between the two umbrella categories will help a user decide which one they need to perform.

Continue reading to learn the differences between a basic background scan and a comprehensive background scan.

Indiana Criminal Record Expungement Law Firm
Indiana Criminal Record Expungement Law Firm 317-636-7514

Criminal History and Background Checks

Keep in mind that background checks are not solely focused on criminal records. Those running background checks might be checking up on universal information about a person, such as professional licensing, driving records, credit history, rental history, and much more. See our blog, “How Many Types of Background Checks Are There?” to learn some of the most common types of background scans.

As for criminal history scans, they typically source information from official authorities, such as national criminal databases, county courts, federal and state criminal records, sex offender registries, and even domestic and global terrorist watch lists. The extent of information sourced depends on whether a use runs a basic check or a comprehensive one.

In most cases, basic background checks are free, or for a low cost. Comprehensive scans are usually never free; in fact, they tend to cost a decent amount of money. On average, a full background scan will cost between $25 and $200, depending on the provider. Below you can view some of the most common data found in each type of background check.

Basic Background Checks:

📑 Criminal History Check
📑 Prior Employment Verification
📑 Reference Check
📑 Sexual Offender Registry Check
📑 Social Security Number Trace
📑 Professional License & Certificate Confirmation

Comprehensive Background Checks:

📑 Criminal History Check
📑 Prior Employment Verification
📑 Education Verification
📑 Reference Check
📑 Drug Screening
📑 Sexual Offender Registry Check
📑 Credit Background Check
📑 Social Media & Internet Check
📑 Driving Record
📑 Professional License & Certificate Confirmation
📑 Social Security Number Trace
📑 Listed Domestic or Global Terrorist
📑 And More

How to Clean Up Your Criminal Record

Call our Indianapolis expungement lawyers at 317-636-7514 if you have a criminal record in Indiana that you would like to clean up this year. Our law firm is well-versed in the Indiana criminal record expungement laws, and charges as low as $850 for our services. Whether you are looking to seal or expunge a criminal record, we are the criminal lawyers to trust for a hassle-free petitioning process. Call 317-636-7514 to learn more, today.

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What to Do if You Were Denied a Job After a Criminal Record Scan

When it comes to interviewing for jobs, there is nothing more awkward and uncomfortable than waiting for that phone call back. So, to get a phone call just to tell you that you you’re not being hired can be incredibly demeaning, especially if they tell you it was due to your criminal history. However, if you were recently not given a job because of the records on your criminal history, there may still be hope for securing good employment due to Indiana’s Second Chance Law.

Continue reading to learn about Indiana’s Second Chance law, a legal principle known as criminal record expungement.

Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514
Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514

Indiana’s Second Chance Law

A new law regarding criminal record expungement, known as Indiana’s Second Chance Law, was recently passed in our state. This means certain people now qualify to have their criminal records eliminated from public records. It is Indiana’s first comprehensive criminal record expungement law. This is a significant opportunity that will open up numerous doors for the previously convicted. Peace of mind, job opportunities, and a clean record are just a few examples of how the new expungement law can help people with criminal records.

It’s a Once in a Lifetime Opportunity

When someone wants to explore their options for criminal record expungement, it is important to first and fully understand that a person can only apply and be granted expungement one time in their entire lives. This means you cannot apply to have additional criminal and arrest records expunged after already having your records concealed in the past.

If you decide to pursue criminal record concealment, be sure that all your paperwork, filing, deadlines, and additional requirements are accurate and in-line. Failing to file even one document, or filing it incorrectly, can instantly eliminate your chances of expunging your criminal history, forever. This is why it is vital to enlist the services of a licensed attorney, familiar with your state’s new expungement laws, to facilitate the entire process to ensure that everything is done properly.

How to Start Criminal Record Expungement

Call 317-636-7514 if you have a criminal record in Indiana that you would like to clean up this year. Our law firm is well-versed in the Indiana criminal record expungement laws, and charges as low as $850 for our services. Whether you are looking to seal or expunge a criminal record, we are the criminal lawyers to trust for a hassle-free petitioning process. Call 317-636-7514 to learn more, today.

Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514
Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514
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How to Fix a Mistakes on Your Criminal Record

Anyone with an arrest or criminal record can expect a few road blocks along the road of life.  This is especially relevant to applying for a job, promotion, professional license, loan, or a residence to rent.  Landlords, supervisors, and managers commonly inquire about criminal histories to better understand the applicant and their capacity to either perform well on the job, pay back a loan, or responsibly take care of a home. If a person has a criminal record that is incorrect or misleading, it can really damage their personal and public quality of life. Fortunately, a new law has passed that allow changes to be made to criminal records, especially in the case that a record is inaccurate.

Continue reading to learn how criminal record expungement can help fix mistakes that are on your personal criminal record in Indiana.

Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514
Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514

Sealing Criminal Records for Adults

Criminal record expungement refers to the process in which a person hides or seals their past criminal convictions and arrests from public access. This means if a landlord or potential employer asks if you’ve been arrested and convicted of a crime, you can legally say no.  There are several details and stipulations that are involved with the expungement process, which is why a lawyer is highly recommended.

Not everyone is eligible for expungement so it is important to outsource professional legal assistance to facilitate the process exactly the way it should.  If a person qualifies for expungement but makes a single mistake during the filing process, they lose out on dealing their records and cannot ever file again. You only get one chance to seal adult criminal records.

Eligibility Requirements

When it comes to criminal record expungement, there are rules and requirements that a person must have.  For example, depending on the type of charges, a person must wait at least five years from the date of conviction to even think about filing for record expungement.  For more serious crimes, a person must wait at least 8 to 10 years from the date of arrest. 

Also, not all records are eligible for expungement; such as kidnapping, rape, murder, etc.  It is important to hire a qualified and licensed attorney that specializes in criminal record expungement services.  Because this law is new, there are many novice expungement services available; but be sure to choose a reputable law firm that genuinely understands the law and everything it entails.

Where to Get Expungement Help in Indianapolis?

Call The Law Firm of Attorney David E. Lewis at 317-636-7514 to get started on the Indiana criminal record expungement application process. We offer professional criminal record expungement services starting as low as $850! As a seasoned criminal defense law firm, we are well-versed in the Indiana expungement laws, and know exactly how to file and obtain a legal expungement, successfully. Call our office at 317-636-7514 and schedule a free initial consultation to determine your eligibility, today.

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Can I Apply for Expungement With a Pending Criminal Charge?

When it comes to criminal record expungement, there are several rules, restrictions, and limitations involved in the process, from the initial petitioning stage, to final judgement. This means that not all applicants are eligible. For most, there are long waiting periods before becoming eligible for criminal record expungement for record sealing. And for those with pending criminal charges, the wait will be even longer.

Continue reading to learn what you need to know about expungement eligibility in Indiana, and how long you might have to wait before you qualify.

Criminal Record Expungement Attorney
Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514

Pending Criminal Charges

If a person has current criminal charges pending, they are not eligible to expunge their criminal records. Once the charges are dealt with accordingly, and are no longer pending, and the individual is no longer on probation, they can then apply for criminal record expungement. This, however, does not mean they will be eligible. There are several prerequisites and requirements for eligibility. Factors such as time, the type of offense, the state, and more, all influence a person’s chances of being approved for record expungement.

Possible Timelines for Indiana Expungement

You must wait for a certain amount of time from the date of arrest before being eligible to petition for criminal record expungement. The amount of time you must wait largely depends on your criminal history and the convictions you have. They are as follows:

Dismissed Cases = 1 Year
Cases w/No Conviction = 1 Year
Misdemeanor Convictions = 5 Years
Level D Felony Convictions = 8 Years
Other Felony Convictions = 8 Years, or 3 Years from sentencing completion date – whichever comes later.
Serious Felony Convictions = 10 Years, or 5 Years from sentencing completion date – whichever comes later.

If You Don’t Qualify for Expungement

If you do not meet the eligibility requirements for criminal record expungement, you may still qualify for record sealing or “shielding.” Your licensed criminal defense lawyer can make this determination for you, but the primary differences between expungement and sealing is who can access the records and who cannot. See our blog, “What is the Difference Between Expunging and Sealing a Criminal Record?” to learn more.

Determining Your Eligibility Status

The eligibility requirements for sealing and expunging arrest records are quite complex. Furthermore, the process that is required of a petitioner is complicated, and revolves around a stringent schedule that’s difficult to follow. For this reason, it is important to review the criminal expungement laws and procedures before you begin on your petition. Consult with a licensed criminal defense lawyer for information about record expungement and sealing in Indiana.

How to Get Started on Your Petition

Call 317-636-7514 if you would like to petition for restricted access or criminal record expungement in Indianapolis. We are happily provide free initial consultations to discuss your case without any out-of-pocket obligations. And our rates start as low as $850! We are eager to help you reform your criminal record so that you can have the quality of life you and your loved ones deserve.

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Who Can Grant Criminal Pardons in the United States?

When facing a federal criminal charge, there are two chief outcomes: guilty or not guilty. But what about being pardoned for your crimes? What does this mean, exactly? And who can grant pardons to suspected or convicted criminals? Continue reading to learn what you need to know about criminal pardons if you are someone you love is facing serious charges.

Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514
Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514

What is a Pardon?

Also known as clemency, a pardon is a type of acquittal that wholly sets aside or lessens the punishment for a felony. You have likely seen this action take place on your favorite crime action hero movies, and there is a reason why. Federal criminal pardons are extremely rare. It is essentially the government’s way of forgiving a person for their crimes. There are a few additional forms of clemency that the President can grant to a defendant. These include commutation, remission, and reprieve.

Commutation – Given a lesser punishment;
Remission – Given relief from a penalty, restitution, or forfeiture;
Reprieve – Temporary delay of sentence (i.e. death penalty);

Granting a Pardon

If you are wondering whether or not there is a change of be granted a pardon, perhaps learning who has the discretion to grant them will answer your question. You see, a federal pardon can only be given by the President of the United States, known as the power of executive clemency, and decreed in Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution.

So in order to receive a pardon for a crime, someone must get the attention of the Presidency. In order for a defendant to be granted clemency by the President of the United States, they must also meet the specified qualifications, which involve factors such as the number of years since the conviction or release from incarceration, character references, recent criminal history, and more.

Records of Pardoned Crimes

Depending on the state, if a person has a crime pardoned by the government, it will most likely still show up on public databases, but it will also show that the person was pardoned for the incident. In such cases, a person could petition for criminal record expungement to have their criminal history sealed from public access.

How to Expunge Criminal Records in Indiana

Call 317-636-7514 to get started on the Indiana criminal record expungement application process. We offer professional criminal record expungement services starting as low as $850! As a seasoned criminal defense law firm, we are well-versed in the Indiana expungement laws, and know exactly how to file and obtain a legal expungement, successfully. Call our office at 317-636-7514 and schedule a free initial consultation to determine your eligibility, today.

Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514
Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514
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