Frequently Asked Questions About State and Federal Law

The two primary types of courts in the United States are federal and state courts. There are several key dissimilarities between these two court systems, and a few similarities too. Continue reading to learn some fundamental information about state and federal offenses, including the primary differences between state and federal court, types of federal crimes, the importance of federal criminal defense, and more.

Criminal Record Expungement Lawyer 317-636-7514
Criminal Record Expungement Lawyer 317-636-7514

How Do Federal and State Court Differ?

State courts are established by the state, and may include local courts as well. Local courts are usually established by individual cities, counties, townships, or other types of common municipalities. They adjudicate cases that involve crimes that break laws set and enforced by the state (also known as state laws). In contrast, federal courts are established under the United States Constitution, and adjudicate cases that involve crimes that break laws passed by Congress.

What is are Federal and State Crimes?

Federal crimes are more serious than state crimes, and generally come with heftier fines and penalties, including jail time. In fact, a felony crime is one that is punishable by up to one year in a federal prison. Felonies are divided into 7 categories in Indiana: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Level 4, Level 5, Level 6, and Murder. Each level of felony is assigned a separate statute regarding penalization.

State crimes are those that break laws set by and enforced by the state. They are referred to as “misdemeanors”, which are lesser offenses compared to felonies, but still serious crimes that come with harsh penalties and life-long consequences. Misdemeanors are divided into three “classes”, from most serious to least serious: Class A Misdemeanors, Class B Misdemeanors, and Class C Misdemeanors.

What are Some Common Federal Offenses?

Federal offenses are very serious. Some common examples include arson, bank fraud, healthcare fraud, mail fraud, car theft, identify theft, carjacking, kidnapping, civil rights offenses, drug trafficking, drug dealing, armed robbery, firearms offenses, assault and battery, sexual assault, child molestation, hate crimes, homicide, and murder.

Can I Remove State and Federal Crimes From My Criminal Record?

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.

How to Get Started With 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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Remove Criminal Charges and Arrests From Your Personal Record in Indiana

Currently, in Indiana, you can expunge criminal offenses from your personal records.  If you have been convicted of a crime, or arrested for a crime, you may be eligible to have those records removed for good!  Drunken driving charges, public intoxication arrests, driving violations, and more can all be hidden from potential employers, public records, home leasing contracts, and more. 

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

Start By Hiring a Qualified Lawyer

Although a person can now expunge criminal records in Indiana, it is highly encouraged (arguably mandatory) to hire a lawyer for accurate assistance. Since you can only file for criminal expungement once in a lifetime, it is important to file your petition with 100% precision and correctness. Even a minor spelling error can jeopardize the outcome of your expungement approval.

Act Fast While There’s Still Time

In addition to precision petitioning, you must act fast before the new law is no longer in affect. Many interest groups were against this law being passed in the first place, so it could be repealed at any time. This possibility makes this law a once in a lifetime chance to clear your criminal history and get better job and housing opportunities for your family. Take action fast before this law goes away. It is a very unpopular law and can be repealed any day now.

Contact Expunge Criminal Record Indiana to get started on your petition as soon as today. We are highly experienced and licensed criminal defense attorneys who have a special practice dedicated solely to Indiana criminal record expungement clients and cases. Since before the new law was passed, our criminal defense attorneys have been fervently studying the new Indiana Second Chance law. We are the criminal defense lawyers to trust when it comes to expunging your criminal records the right way.

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.

Think you can’t afford it? YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN!

We offer criminal expungement services starting as low as $850! Furthermore, we offer free initial consultations so that you may discuss your case without any out-of-pocket obligations. Call 317-636-7514 if you would like to petition for restricted access or criminal record expungement in Indianapolis. 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.

Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514
Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514
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How to Expunge Criminal Records in Marion County

Here’s what you really need to know about the new Indiana criminal record expungement laws, also known as the Indiana’s Second Chance Law:

It can be repealed at any time!

So as someone with an arrest or conviction on your criminal record, what does this mean for you? It means you should not wait another minute to get your criminal record cleared in Indiana! The new expungement law has considerable opposition, and can be gone at any time. We offer free consultations to give people information about the law, the legal guidelines, and their qualifications. Take advantage of this opportunity in Indiana, and get your criminal record expunged this year!

If you are a resident of, or have convictions in, the City of Indianapolis, you can begin your petition process as soon as today. Continue reading to learn how to clean up your criminal record with the advantage of the new expungement laws in Marion County, Indiana.

Marion County Criminal Record Expungement 317-636-7514
Marion County Criminal Record Expungement 317-636-7514

Marion County Record Expungement

Before you get your hopes up, it is important to review some additional facts regarding the Indiana expungement laws. Not everyone will qualify, and time is already running out. Here are some more facts you need to know:

❖ You can only petition for expungement ONCE in a lifetime. One error, even as simple as a misspelled word, will have your petition rejected, and your chance is forever lost.

❖ The Indiana expungement law is very unpopular among many interest groups, who accordingly, are doing what they can to appeal it. This means the Second Chance Law risk being repealed soon.

❖ You can petition for criminal expungement for several offenses in multiple counties, however, you must do it all within 1 year.

❖ Most violent crimes and sex crimes do not qualify for criminal record expungement.

❖ Most individuals who are at successful with criminal record expungement hired a lawyer to assist them with the complex petitioning paperwork and rigorous process.

How to Get Started

To expunge criminal records in Marion County, you are wisest to choose a skilled law firm well-versed in the new Second Chance Laws and procedures. Call 317-636-7514 to expunge criminal records in Indiana. We offer criminal record expungement services starting as low as $850! As a seasoned criminal defense law firm, we are well-versed in the new Indiana expungement laws, and know exactly how to file and obtain a legal expungement, successfully.

Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514
Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514
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How to Get Started With Criminal Record Expungement in Indiana

The new state criminal record expungement law, also known as the Indiana Second Chance Law, officially took effect on July 1st of 2013.  Since then, thousands of Hoosiers have taken advantage of the opportunity, and as a result, opened more doors for employment, housing, loans, school, and more. If you have a past criminal record, whether from your juvenile years or as an adult, you may be eligible to have these records sealed from public access.

Not only will private parties be prohibited from viewing your criminal records, public parties like employers, banks, landlords, and more will also be blocked from such information. Furthermore, with expunged records, you can honestly and legally answer “no” when potential employers ask you if you have ever been convicted of or arrested for a crime. Continue reading to learn more about getting started on a criminal record expungement application.

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

If your petition is granted, criminal records are removed from court files, police records, Department of Correction files, drivers’ license branch files, substance abuse counselor records, and more. Also, it will be illegal for any institution or employer to suspend expel, refuse employment, refuse admittance, deny permits or licenses for occupational or professional activity, or discriminate in any way. Furthermore, certain rights are restored, such as the right to vote, hold public office, and own or possess a firearm (unless otherwise prohibited by law).

Act Fast Before the Law is Appealed

Although this law has been around for a few years now, it is still not a popular one among certain lobbyist parties. This means it may not be around much longer; so act fast and see if you qualify for Indiana criminal record expungement. Here is exactly how to get started on your petition:

Step ❶ – Contact a Licensed Criminal Defense Lawyer Who Specializes in Expungement

Step ❷– Determine Your Eligibility for Criminal Record Expungement

Step ❸ – File Your Petition With Your Lawyer’s Assistance

Step ❹– Enjoy Your New Life as a Record-Free Hoosier!

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.

Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514
Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514
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Groups of Individuals Who May Be Eligible for Indiana Expungement

The new Indiana Second Chance laws certainly provide a load of benefits and better opportunities for past offenders. However, not everyone is eligible for criminal record expungement, and perhaps not even for criminal record sealing. Continue reading to learn which groups of individuals with past criminal records may be qualified, as well as, how to get started on your expungement petition.

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

Indiana’s Second Chance law (IC §35-38-9)

⚖ Found Not Guilty (IC §35-38-9-1):

So long as you were found “Not Guilty”, or your charges did not result in juvenile adjudication or a conviction, you may be eligible for expungement. Furthermore, if your charges did end up in juvenile adjudication or a conviction, you may still be eligible if your conviction was later vacated on appeal.

⚖ Convicted of a Misdemeanor (IC §35-38-9-2):

If you were convicted of a misdemeanor, or Level 6 felony offense that was ultimately reduced to a misdemeanor, you may be eligible for expungement.

⚖ Convicted of a Felony (IC §35-38-9-3 and §35-38-9-4):

So long as your felony conviction was not for a violent crime, sex crime, murder, human or sexual trafficking, a felony that resulted in serious bodily injury, or any another type of violent crime, you might be eligible for expungement. You are not if you were convicted while a candidate for, or in office as, an elected government official.

⚖ Convicted of a Violent or Sexual Felony (IC §35-38-9-5):

Those convicted of a violent or sexual-related felony may be eligible for expungement depending on various specific factors. Talk to a criminal defense lawyer to learn your eligibility as a past offender convicted of a violent or sexual felony. You are not eligible if you are a sex offender, or convicted of a violent crime, such as murder, human or sexual trafficking, a felony that resulted in serious bodily injury, and more. Furthermore, you are not eligible if you were convicted while a candidate for, or in office as, an elected official.

How to Start Your Expungement Petition

Criminal Record Expungement 317-636-7514

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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How Does Expungement Prohibit Employers From Discriminating Against Applicants?

If you have a criminal record from your past that is still lingering around and holding you back from a better life, perhaps it is time to learn what the new expungement laws can do for you. One of the most important and beneficial aspects of the new Indiana Second Chance Law is that it strictly prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants with criminal histories. This means you have a chance at higher employment, promotions, professional licenses, and more.

Continue reading to learn exactly what the Indiana expungement laws say about employer discrimination and applicant rights.

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

The Indiana Second Chance Law Helps You Get Better Jobs

If you want to know what the Indiana Second Chance law states about employers and discrimination against applicants with criminal records, you will need to refer to the Indiana Expungement Statue, IC-35-38-9-10(b), which specifically states:

“(b) It is unlawful discrimination for any person to…

(1) suspend;

(2) expel;

(3) refuse to employ;

(4) refuse to admit;

(5) refuse to grant or renew a license, permit, or certificate necessary to engage in any activity, occupation, or profession;  or

(6) otherwise discriminate against;

…any person because of a conviction or arrest record expunged or sealed under this chapter.”

The statute goes on to say, “The Indiana Expungement Statue states that a person whose record is expunged shall be treated as if the person had never been convicted of the offense.  So after your successful expungement, on any employment application, or other applications, you can legally answer that you have never been convicted of a crime.”

**See Indiana Code 35-38-9, Sealing and Expunging Conviction Records

How to Apply for Record Expungement

The first step to petitioning for criminal record expungement in Indiana is to confirm your eligibility. Unfortunately, not everyone will qualify, as there are several prerequisites and stipulations. For instance, violent and sexual offenses are not eligible for expungement, nor are convictions in which you were found guilty of the crime. Also, a certain amount of time must pass before you can have a criminal record expunged. Read our blog, “Expungement or Record Sealing: Which Do I Qualify For?” to learn more about criminal record expungement and record sealing eligibility.

Professional Expungement Services in Indiana

Criminal Record Expungement 317-636-7514

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! 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 in Indiana, and get your criminal record expunged this year!

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What You Can and Cannot Expunge

The New Indiana Second Chance Law allows those with past criminal records to seal such records from the public. This means better opportunities for employment, housing, education, and overall quality of life. However, there are several rules and restrictions to this new law, making it a risky endeavor to attempt alone. You need a professional Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer who is well versed in the expungement laws to help you with the process, from start to finish.

Continue reading to learn what you need to know about sealing criminal records, including what can and cannot be expunged.

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

Arrest Records

In Indiana, arrest records can be expunged so long as no conviction resulted, you do not have a suspended driver’s license, and it has been at least one year since the date of the arrest. How could this be beneficial to someone? A college student looking to apply to graduate school has a public nuisance arrest on their record from freshman year, but they were never convicted. They could have this record expunged so that the dean and application counsels do not see it and use it against them.

Misdemeanor Convictions

If you were convicted of a Class A through Class C misdemeanor, you may or may not be eligible for expungement. It depends on a long list of factors, including the nature of the offense and the amount of time that has passed since the conviction. In Indiana, you must wait 5 years since the date of the conviction before petitioning the court for expunction.

Felony Convictions

If you were convicted of a Class D felony that was reduced to a misdemeanor, you would need to adhere to the same prerequisites as a misdemeanor conviction, as mentioned above. Most non-violent felonies, you must wait at least 8 years since the date of the conviction, plus meet all the other requirements, such as no pending charges, valid drivers’ license, and more.

What CANNOT Be Expunged

Expungement is not available to everyone. Those who are not eligible include sex offenders, violent offenders, and anyone convicted of official misconduct.

Where to Start Your Expungement Petition

Criminal Record Expungement 317-636-7514

Call 317-636-7514 if you want to expunge a criminal record in Indiana. 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.

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What is the Second Chance Act?

The Second Chance Act is something important to anyone with a past criminal record in Indiana. It is a new beginning for those whose lives are affected by a previous conviction. If you fit into one of these categories, this blog is for you.

Continue reading to learn facts about the Second Chance Act, including what it can do for you and how to get started on your new beginning.

Indiana Second Chance Act legal services
Indianapolis Criminal Record Expungement Attorney 317-636-7514

Second Chance Act

The Second Chance Act is Indiana’s new criminal record expungement law. You can find details pertaining to this law by reviewing “Sealing and Expunging Conviction Records”, Indiana Code 35-38-9. Criminal record expungement allows those with past criminal records to block their criminal history from the general public. Although their records are not destroyed, they are hidden from common background checkers, such as landlords, loan officers, employers, private individuals, and similar parties.  

Eligibility

In order to have your criminal records expunged, you must petition the state by filling out an application.  The application process involves a series of petitions, paperwork, deadlines, and strict requirements. In fact, just one simple spelling error can jeopardize a petition’s approval, thus causing the applicant to lose their opportunity to expunge their criminal records forever. That is because a person can only apply for criminal record expungement ONCE in their lifetime; and if for some reason, a single line is skipped or a deadline is missed, the petition is instantly rejected.

For these reasons and more, it is standard practice to retain the services of a licensed and experienced Indianapolis criminal record expungement lawyer for help with the entire process, including determining your eligibility. In fact, before doing anything else, your first step is to contact an expungement attorney to have your eligibility evaluated. You see, not everyone qualifies for criminal record expungement; there are several detailed and complex prerequisites for being eligible.

Examples of primary eligibility requirements for the current Indiana Second Chance Act:

✏ Arrest Records

Section 1 of the Second Chance Act permits an arrest record to be expunged if a) the arrest did not result in a conviction, b) the arrest resulted in a convicted that was later vacated on appeal, as well as, a) the person is not currently involved in a pretrial diversion program.

✏ Misdemeanor Records

Misdemeanor charges, as well as, Class D felonies (crimes committed prior to July 1, 2014) and Level 6 felonies (crimes committed post June 30, 2014) that were reduced to a misdemeanor, can be expunged if a) 5 years have passed since the conviction date, b) the person has no pending criminal charges, c) the person paid all fines, fees, court costs, and any order restitution, in full, d) the person has not been convicted of any additional crime in the past 5 years.

✏ Felony Records (Non-Violent)

Class D and Level 6 felony charges can be expunged if a) 8 years have passed since the conviction date, b) the person has no pending criminal charges, c) the person paid all fines, fees, court costs, and any order restitution, in full, d) the person has not been convicted of any additional crime in the past 8 years. Under Chapter 35-38-9 of the Indiana Second Chance law, sex crimes and violent crimes are not eligible for expungement. Additionally, official misconduct, homicide, and human/sexual trafficking convictions cannot be expunged.

✏ Public Officials and Violent Felonies

Public officials and those with violent felonies may be expunged if a) 10 years have passed since the conviction date, b) the person has no pending criminal charges, c) the person paid all fines, fees, court costs, and any order restitution, in full, d) the person has not been convicted of any additional crime in the past 10 years, e) the state prosecutor approves the expungement in writing. Even if all of these requirements are met, the court still might deny expungement.

✏ Pretrial Diversion Records

The Second Chance Act permits records of pretrial diversion programs to be expunged since, upon completion, the state dismisses the charges and the record is the same as an arrest that didn’t result on a conviction.

Criminal Record Expungement Legal Assistance

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

Call The Law Office of David E. Lewis at 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. Call 317-636-7514 to schedule an appointment, today.

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What Happens to My Criminal Record if the Prosecutor Didn’t File Charges?

In some cases of arrests, the state prosecution might decide to not file charges against a defendant. This decision might come for a number of reasons, from mistaken identity and false accusations, to lack of evidence and actual innocence. Whatever the reason your appointed prosecutor decided to not file criminal charges against you, you might still be filled with a list of questions, mostly concerns for your reputation and future.

Continue reading to learn what your criminal record might look like after being arrested, and ultimately, having no charges filed against you.

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

Arrest Records

An arrest record is just a part of your overall criminal record. This means that even if criminal charges were never filed against you, your criminal record will still show the event of arrest. Of course, it will also show that no charges were ultimately filed. The arrest will be detailed as a “detention”, meaning a hold in custody followed by a release. It will also detail the type of charges you were arrested on, such as drug possession, drunk driving, theft, or assault.

Most people feel very lucky when prosecution does not file charges against them, but this swift wind of luck is not enough to put your mind at ease. Your personal record, available to the entire public, will show that you were arrested on particular charges. Friends, dates, employers, school admittance offices, and more, can all view your public criminal record. Even though you were not charged for the crime you were detained for, the mark on your record can still cause ripples in your life down the road.

What You Can Do

Even after prosecution does not file charges, there is still work to be done on your part. Although it is optional, you should take your legal journey a step further to ensure your reputation is protected down the line. You can do this by looking into your state’s expungement and record sealing laws. You may qualify to have the arrest record hidden or eliminated from your public criminal history. If you are a Hoosier, talk to a seasoned Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer who specializes in Indiana criminal record expungement to learn when you will be eligible.

A Criminal Record Expungement Lawyer You Can Trust

Criminal Record Expungement 317-636-7514

Call Attorney David E. Lewis 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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Do Not Miss Your Chance to Clean Up Your Criminal Record This Year!

The new Indiana Second Chance law surrounding criminal record expungement is not so “new” anymore. And many powerful heads have not been very happy with the law being in effect. These factors, combined with various others to lengthy to mention, are the reasons why this year is the right year to get started on cleaning up your record.

We just don’t know if or when this law will be repealed, and your chances at a better quality of life are gone forever. And for this reason, 2019 is your time to make a change and take advantage of this criminal record sealing law. Scroll down to learn more.

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

Why You Need to Act in 2019

As mentioned, when the new Indiana Second Chance laws came into effect, there were (and still are) several large groups and organizations against them. Since the induction of the Indiana Second Chance laws, there have been many attempts to have the laws repealed. There is a very good chance that this law does not make it to 2020. This circumstance makes it risky to wait on getting started on your expungement or record sealing process. Best of all, if you get started on your criminal record expungement or sealing petition now, you can be free of the stress of having a public criminal record by the end of the year!

Benefits of a Clean Criminal Record

Numerous benefits come with expunging a criminal record in Indiana. Once a person has hired our seasoned attorneys to get their criminal records removed, they can expect certain rights to be restored to them; as well as, employment benefits, personal achievement, emotional reward, and much more. This new law will open up job opportunities and get more people back to work, repair driving records, eliminate the potential for lost job opportunities, let people feel better about themselves and their past, avoid public embarrassment, and so much more.

What You Need to Know

Before you can reap the numerous benefits of criminal record expungement and sealing, you must be eligible first. There are several variables that determine who qualifies to get their record expunged in Indiana. Misdemeanors, class D felonies, arrest records, and more can all potentially be eliminated from a person’s criminal history. The first prerequisite for expungement eligibility is the type of conviction or charge a person was sentenced with; meaning either a misdemeanor, felony dropped to a misdemeanor, or felony.

The second factor is time. Depending on the charge, there are rules on how many years a person must wait to expunge their record. For details on the legalities surrounding criminal expungement in Indiana, you must contact a licensed Indianapolis criminal defense law firm that is well-versed and experienced in the new Indiana Second Chance Laws.

Where to Get Started

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

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.

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