In order to petition for criminal record expungement, you will need the assistance of a skilled criminal defense lawyer. Continue reading to learn how an attorney can better guarantee your chances at being granted an expunged criminal record.
Indiana’s Second Chance Law
The new Indiana criminal record expungement law officially took effect on July 1st of 2013. Often referred to as “Indiana’s Second Chance law”, it allows people to petition for misdemeanors and Class D Felonies to be expunged or restricted from their personal records; thus giving past offenders a “second chance” at having a quality life. After expungement, the general public, including employers, would not be able to see criminal histories of potential employees by running standard background checks.
A Fair Warning
This new law has the potential to change lives for people who have had trouble gaining or retaining employment due to their criminal backgrounds. But you better be sure your paperwork is correct, filed on time, and contains all the essential requirements and documents needed to move your case along. One missed deadline or misspelled word can have a person’s petition denied, which is scary considering you can only file for Indiana’s Second Chance law once in your lifetime. This is why you need a criminal defense lawyer to help you through the process.
What a Lawyer Will Do:
⚖ Determine Eligibility
Learning your eligibility for expungement can be quite complex to anyone untrained in law jargon. Furthermore, there are numerous factors that regulate who is qualified to have their criminal record expunged in Indiana. One such prerequisite for expungement eligibility is the type of conviction or charge a person was sentenced with, while another is time. Depending on the criminal charge, there are parameters on how many years a person must wait to expunge their record. A skilled criminal defense lawyer will be able to accurately determine your eligibility for expungement.
⚖ File All Paperwork
A person has one opportunity to file for criminal record expungement. One filing misstep can cost them that chance. A licensed attorney that is well-versed in the new Indiana expungement laws can process all the necessary documents and paperwork needed to file for expungement. They can be sure you are informed, set, and ready for all mandatory court hearings, if any, and all other obligations involved in the process. With a lawyer, you can rest assure that the filing and application process is carried out perfectly so that you have the highest chance of having your records sealed from the public.
⚖ Ensure Timeline Efficiency
Not only will a licensed criminal defense lawyer ensure that your paperwork filings are correct and on time, they will ensure the timeline for which your case is adjudicated runs smoothly and within a convenient time frame. As mentioned, no one knows if or when this law might be repealed. So if you try to petition on your own, it could take months to acquire the necessary paperwork from various sources, which can put you at risk of running out of time before the law goes away.