Here in the Hoosier state, the law penalizes drug crimes heavily. Whether to set an example for an entire community, or rehab a habitual offender, Indiana law does not give leniency to those charged and convicted of a drug offense. However, for those who were wrongly suspected of drug possession, and as a result, were cleared of all related charges after their arrest, leniency is in the cards. Currently, Indiana allows past offenders, including those arrested but not convicted, a change to seal or expunge criminal records. This opens doors for all sorts of professional, financial, and social opportunities, making it an important step after having your Indiana drug charges dropped.
Continue reading to learn what you need to know about Indiana’s Second Chance law, including how to get started on your petition today.
Indiana Criminal Record Expungement
A few years ago, Indiana passed a new law that allows certain past offenders and those arrested, under specific criteria and prerequisites, to hide or remove criminal records from their personal criminal history report. For instance, if you were arrested for drug possession 6 years ago, but the prosecutor dropped all charges against you because you were in fact innocent, you could have that record of arrest completely removed from your criminal history so that no one can view it on your public and private records.
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. Of course, you must be eligible first, which means certain truths have to exist in order for you to be granted criminal record expungement or record sealing.
Criteria for Expungement Qualification
To be eligible for criminal record expungement, you must pass certain criteria. For instance, a certain number of years must pass before you can petition. Additional examples of criteria include the circumstances in which your arrest did not end up in a formal charge, the severity of the original charges, your age at the time of arrest, and more. Expunging non-conviction arrest records is one thing. To expunge or seal actual convictions is another.
Qualifying for criminal record expungement for a conviction is much more challenging, and the prerequisites are much sterner. This is especially true for those who were found guilty, or pleaded guilty to their criminal charges. In such cases, they could only have a chance at applying to seal their criminal records, rather than expunge them entirely. See our blog, “Expungement or Record Sealing: Which Do I Qualify For?” to learn more about distinguishing between the two types of eligibility.
How to Start an Application for Criminal Record Expungement
One of the rules to expunging a criminal record is that a person can only file once in a lifetime. If a mistake is made, it could be the end of your pursuit to expunge your criminal record in Indiana. 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 Your Criminal Record Expungement Petition in Indianapolis
Call 317-636-7514 if you have a drug possession criminal record in Indiana that you would like to expunge or seal. Our criminal record expungement law firm is well-versed in the Indiana Second Chance 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.