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.
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.
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
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.