Starting Fresh: 4 Steps to Clean Up Your Criminal History as a Hoosier

For many people, the past isn’t just a memory—it’s a record. A criminal history can have a lasting impact on an individual’s life, affecting everything from job prospects to housing opportunities. Fortunately, the state of Indiana offers a pathway to a fresh start through the expungement and record sealing process. If you’re a Hoosier looking to turn the page on your past, this comprehensive guide is designed to walk you through the necessary steps to clear your criminal record and gain a new lease on life.

Call 317-636-7514 for Indiana Expungement Assistance - Starting at $850!
Call 317-636-7514 for Indiana Expungement Assistance – Starting at $850!

Indiana’s Second Chance Law at a Glance

In Indiana, the fairly-new criminal record expungement and record sealing laws, also known as Indiana’s Second Chance Laws, allows for limited access to certain criminal records by the public. Record sealing, on the other hand, makes it illegal to disclose sealed records to anyone, including most potential employers or landlords. For many, this legal remedy represents the potential for redemption, a second chance to redefine their narrative.

Removing or sealing past convictions can significantly improve your life. It can make it easier to find employment, secure housing, and participate fully in civic life. Studies have shown that expungement is linked to reduced recidivism rates, suggesting that people with clean records are less likely to re-offend.

How to Start Fresh With Criminal Record Expungement

Step 1: Hiring a Lawyer

While it is possible to file for expungement without legal representation, enlisting the help of a skilled criminal defense lawyer is highly recommended. An expungement attorney experienced in Indiana’s Second Chance Law will not only handle the entire process for you, but also provide invaluable support and advice.

Navigating Legal Loopholes

The expertise of a knowledgeable attorney can be essential in navigating the legal system. They can help ensure that you understand your rights, provide personalized advice based on your unique situation, and increase the likelihood of a successful expungement.

Choosing a Lawyer

When selecting a lawyer, look for one with a track record of successful expungement cases. Schedule consultations with several attorneys to discuss your case and determine who can offer the best representation. Remember to ask about their fees and payment plans, as cost can vary significantly.

The following steps are steps that your criminal record expungement lawyer will handle for you on your behalf. If you are planning to manage the petitioning process yourself, these next steps are the steps you will need to take.

Step 2: Assessing Eligibility

Not all criminal records are eligible for expungement. The Indiana legal system has specific criteria that individuals must meet to qualify for record clearing. Understanding these requirements is the critical second step to the expungement process.

Who Qualifies for Expungement?

In Indiana, individuals may be eligible for expungement if:

  • They have completed their sentence, including any probation or parole
  • A certain number of years have passed since the conviction, depending on the offense
  • They have no pending charges

Navigating the Criteria

The details of your case, such as the nature of the offense and your criminal history, will determine your eligibility. Work with your attorney to assess whether you meet the state’s criteria for expungement.

Step 3: Gathering Necessary Documentation

The road to expungement is paved with paperwork. You will need to gather a range of documents to support your expungement petition, such as court records, sentencing documents, and a criminal background check.

Document-Savvy Preparation

The key to a successful expungement petition is thorough and organized documentation. Be proactive in getting the paperwork you need, and be prepared to provide evidence of your rehabilitation since your conviction.

What You Need to Collect:

  • Certified copies of all court cases you wish to expunge
  • Records of any probation, parole, or other supervision
  • A report from the Indiana State Police that provides a criminal history background check

Accurately Organizing Records

Accurately organize and present these records to your attorney, who can help ensure that you have everything you need to present a compelling expungement case.

Step 4: Filing the Petition

Once you’ve determined your eligibility and collected the necessary documentation, it is time to officially file your expungement petition. This is a formal legal process that must be completed with care and attention to detail.

The Petitioning Process

Work with your attorney to draft and file the petition. They can ensure that your petition meets all legal requirements and that it is filed in a timely manner. Your expungement petition should be filed with the court where you were convicted. It will include a description of your case, the charges you are seeking to expunge, and the reasons why you believe you should be granted an expungement.

What to Expect

The court will review your petition, and you may be required to attend a hearing. At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present your case for expungement. The court’s decision will be based on various factors, including the nature of the offense, your criminal history, and your post-conviction conduct.

Following Up and Moving Forward

Obtaining an expungement doesn’t mark the end of your story—it’s a new beginning. Now that your record is clear, it’s time to take full advantage of the opportunities available to you.

Post-Expungement Life

With a clean criminal record, you are free to pursue employment, education, and other aspects of your life without the burden of past convictions. Take advantage of community resources, support networks, and continuing legal counsel to help you thrive post-expungement.

Advocating for Awareness

Sharing your expungement story can be a powerful way to advocate for others seeking a fresh start. By speaking out about the process and its impact on your life, you can help raise awareness and encourage others to pursue expungement.


For those who have struggled with the weight of a criminal past, the expungement and record sealing processes present a beacon of hope, a chance to rewrite life’s next chapters in a positive light. By following the four steps outlined in this guide—hiring a lawyer, assessing eligibility, gathering documentation, and filing your petition—you can set the wheels in motion for a legal rebirth. Remember, the process may be extensive, but the rewards of a clear record are immeasurable.

Why Go Through With It?

Cleaning up your criminal history is both a personal and legal victory. It signifies an acceptance of responsibility for past actions and a commitment to a future free from the shadows of your past. If you are a Hoosier looking to reclaim your life from the tarnish of a criminal record, remember that the system is designed to help you. Empower yourself with knowledge, seek the assistance of legal experts, and take the proactive steps necessary to secure your right to a fresh start. After all, every individual is worth the opportunity to overcome and thrive, and Indiana’s Second Chance laws are the key to unlocking that potential.

You don’t have to be afraid of your future employer or loan officer running a background check on you anymore. Contact our licensed criminal defense lawyers for affordable criminal record expungement services in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our fees start as low as $850, and initial consultations are free!

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What You Need to Know Before Applying for Criminal Record Expungement

Having a criminal record can make it difficult to achieve your goals, from finding housing and employment to pursuing education and other opportunities. Fortunately, criminal record expungement is an option that may help you clear your criminal history. Expungement refers to the process of legally destroying or sealing criminal records so they cannot be accessed by the public. However, there are some important things you should know before applying for criminal record expungement.

In this blog post, we’ll cover what you need to know about criminal record expungement including eligibility requirements, application processes, and how an experienced expungement lawyer can help guide you through the process.

Call 317-636-7514 for Certified Expungement Help in Indiana.
Call 317-636-7514 for Certified Expungement Help in Indiana.

Top Considerations Surrounding Indiana’s Second Chance Act

Eligibility Requirements for Expungement

Before you can apply for criminal record expungement, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. These vary by state and may include factors such as the type of offense, the nature of your criminal history, how long ago it occurred, and more. It’s important to research the criminal record expungement laws in your state to verify that you meet the requirements.

Expungement Application Process

The criminal record expungement application process typically involves filing an application with a court or state agency and submitting supporting documents. Depending on your situation, you may also need to appear in court for a hearing or provide additional evidence. It’s important to note that this process can be complicated and time-consuming.

The Role of an Expungement Lawyer

An experienced Indiana expungement lawyer can help make the criminal record expungement process easier and less stressful by providing legal advice, helping to prepare documents, and representing you in court. A knowledgeable lawyer will be familiar with the criminal record expungement laws in Indiana and can help ensure that you meet all the required eligibility criteria.

Speak to an Indianapolis Expungement Attorney Today

With the right knowledge and guidance, criminal record expungement can be a useful tool for those seeking to clear their criminal history and create new opportunities for themselves. If you or someone you know is considering criminal record expungement, contact an experienced Indianapolis expungement lawyer for help understanding the process and how it could benefit you. By taking the time to research criminal record expungement laws and seek assistance from an experienced expungement lawyer, you can take steps towards clearing your criminal history and pursuing a brighter future.

Are you motivated to begin your journey of applying for an expungement on your criminal record in Indiana? Contact our Indianapolis Indiana criminal record expungement lawyers to learn how to begin your petition, today. Our expungement fees start as low as $850, and we never charge for initial consultations.

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