A Comprehensive Guide to How Criminal Records Work

Criminal records are an important part of the criminal justice system. They provide a record of someone’s past legal history and can be used to determine future sentencing decisions. But what exactly is a criminal record? How do they work? And how can they be expunged or sealed?

In this blog post, we will take you through all you need to know about criminal records—from understanding your rights as an individual with such a record, to learning more about expungement and record sealing processes. By the end of this guide, you should have a better understanding of how this important aspect of the law works. Let’s get started!

Criminal Record Expunging Indiana
Criminal Record Expunging Indiana

What You Need to Know About Criminal Records

What are Criminal Records?

Criminal records are simply a list of all the convictions and sentences that an individual has received throughout their lifetime. They are used to determine if someone is permitted to receive certain benefits, like housing or employment. Criminal records also play a major role in determining future sentencing decisions—someone with a criminal record may be seen as a more serious offender than someone without one. So, it’s important for individuals to understand what’s included in their criminal record and how it can affect their future opportunities.

Can a Criminal Record Be Expunged or Sealed?

In some cases, yes! Expungement is the process of removing something from an individual’s criminal record. This can be done for certain types of convictions, like misdemeanors and felonies that have been committed a long time ago and do not carry any risk. Expungement also applies to juvenile charges.

Record sealing is similar, but it does not remove the information from your record—it just prevents it from being seen by the public. Record sealing is usually used in cases where the individual has received a conviction that could be seen as minor or non-threatening. This process blocks employers, landlords, and others from seeing the information on their background check.

It is important to note that expunging or sealing your record does not mean all of your records are cleared—it just means that certain information is not accessible to the public.

How Do I Go About Expunging or Sealing My Record?

The process of expunging or sealing your record can vary from state to state, so it’s important to research the specific laws in your area. In general, you will have to submit an application to the court system and provide evidence that supports why you should be allowed to have your records expunged or sealed. Your application must also be approved by a judge before it can take effect.

Once your application has been approved, all records related to the charges in question will be removed from databases like criminal background checks and arrest reports. This means that employers and other third parties will not be able to see the information on your criminal record.


It is important to remember that expungement and record sealing are not always easy processes. But if you want to clear your name or secure better job opportunities, it is definitely worth considering.

We hope this guide has provided you with useful information about criminal records and how they work. If you have any additional questions about criminal record expungement or record sealing, contact our Indianapolis defense attorneys at 317-636-7514, today. Our Indiana criminal expungement services start as low as $850!

Related Posts:

The 3 Step Approach to Expunging a Criminal Record
Where to Get Juvenile Record Expungement Legal Help in Indiana
Should I Expunge a Criminal Charge That Never Ended With a Conviction?

Can You Expunge Federal Convictions?

Criminal record expungement allows those who qualify to legally have their past criminal convictions destroyed and made never available to the general public again. The only party that retains access of an individual’s expunged records is the Department of Justice, for evidence and reference purposes. Many question however, if federal convictions can also be expunged. The quick answer is, “yes, but it depends.”

Dismissed By the Court

To expunge a federal record, a court must dismiss the conviction. In order to begin, a petition for expungement must be filed with the Attorney General’s Office. Generally, and mostly because of the complexities involved, most defendants hire a criminal defense attorney to accurately facilitate the petition. Something as small as a miss-spelled name or missing document can be cause for disqualification. An experience lawyer knows how to execute a petition for expungement, flawlessly.

In order to qualify for federal record expungement, certain prerequisites must be met by the applicant. If none of the requirements are met, a defendant is denied expungement. Below are the list of perquisites to qualify for federal record expungement.

Federal Expungement may be possible if…

• At Least 3-5 Years Has Passed Since the Federal Conviction
• The Defendant Never Received a Civil Penalty for the Crime
• All Penalties for the Crime Have Been Served
• The Defendant Has No State or Federal Convictions for Controlled Substances
• The Defendant Agrees to a Drug Screen and Tests Negative
• The Defendant Cooperates With All Attorney General Conditions
• The Defendant Was Convicted Based on a Law that was Later Found to Be Unconstitutional
• A Judge Decides the Conviction was a result of Government Misconduct

Once a federal record is expunged, all official records and references of a conviction is erased, with the exception of the Department of Justice. If you were charged with a felony offense in the past, you may be eligible to have it expunged today.

Expungement in Indiana

Call 317-636-7514 to speak with a licensed criminal defense lawyer about expunging felony records in Indiana. We can help determine your eligibility and process your application for expungement. Whether arrested for state or federal charges, and convicted or not, you may qualify for criminal record expungement in Indiana! Call our office at 317-636-7514 to learn more about expunging criminal records, today.

Can I Buy a Gun After Expunging a Felony Conviction?

When a person is convicted of a felony crime, there are several consequences that go along with it, many of which disrupt or impact a person’s life forever. One of the many restrictions convicted felons must live with is the right to purchase a firearm. But now that recent laws have approved criminal record expungement, many people are taking advantage of sealing their past criminal convictions from public access, leading them to ask several questions about restoring their rights as well. A common inquiry among past felons filing for expungement involves the right to purchase and bear arms. Continue reading to learn more about expunging felony criminal records and how it influences a person’s right to purchase a gun.

Criminal Record Expungement vs Restricted Access

In Indiana, if a person was charged with a felony or misdemeanor, but never found guilty, then they are eligible for expungement. But if a person has any conviction on their criminal record, whether for a misdemeanor or felony offense, they are not eligible to have it expunged. However, they may qualify to have it placed under restricted access, which is sometimes referred to as record “sealing” rather than record expungement. To petition for a chance at sealing criminal records in Indiana, all of the following statements listed below must be true:

1. Offense was a Misdemeanor or Level 6 Felony
2. They Caused No Bodily Injury
3. No New Convictions Since the Conviction
4. It Has Been at Least 8 Years Since the Conviction
5. Offense was not Sexual nor Violent

Gun Rights

When a person is convicted of a felony offense, they immediately lose their right to purchase or bear firearms. And since Indiana only allows past convicts who qualify to seal and restrict their criminal records, rather than expunge them, they can never regain that privilege again. The only way a person’s right to purchase and bear firearms can be restored is if they were never convicted of a crime or their charges were later dropped or dismissed. All those with convictions on their criminal record cannot expunge their
convictions, therefore, they cannot have their
right to firearms reinstated in Indiana.

Indiana Expungement Lawyer

Call 317-636-7514 for help sealing and expunging criminal records in Indiana. Our rates start as low as $850, making our legal services affordable for everyone! Our comprehensive understanding of Indiana expungement law, coupled with our acute work ethic, makes us the perfect ally when petitioning the government. We will ensure you qualify before taking the time to file and process paperwork, and furthermore, ensure that all your filing and proceedings are accurately managed and carried out on time. Call 317-636-7514 to discuss your eligibility with a licensed Indiana criminal record expungement lawyer today!

Where is Criminal Record Expungement Legal in the United States?

There are new laws being passed every single day. Some are approved under state law and others under federal law. Although many ordinances are passed and approved without most people being aware, some are too significant to ignore. One such law is criminal record expungement. This law is becoming more and more popular among various states within the nation. This law has the ability to changes lives, improve the economy, and much more. Continue reading to learn more about criminal record expungement, and which states allow it in the continental United States.

Expunging Criminal Records

If a person has record of past arrests or criminal charges, they can run into several road blocks in life. Felons, or adults with arrest records, can have difficulty getting a good job, renting a home, applying for loans, and much more. This new law can help people in these situations. Criminal record expungement laws allow past convicts, felons, and people with arrest records, to have these records restricted from public view. This means standard background checks for leasing agreements, job applications, and more will not show records of arrests or charges.

The only stipulation is that a person must first qualify for criminal record expungement, as well as, outsource professional services to facilitate the application process. Not everyone is approved to have their criminal records expunged. One must qualify in terms of time, number of arrests, and the charges they have. Certain charges cannot be expungement; including murder, assault with deadly weapon, sex crimes, perjury, human trafficking, and more. It must be at least once year since the date of conviction for arrest records to be expunged; while misdemeanors require 5 years, and felonies up to 12 years. States that now allow criminal record expunging include:

• Indiana
• California
• Arizona
• Florida
• Illinois
• Missouri
• Colorado
• Connecticut
• New Hampshire
• New Jersey
• New York
• Ohio
• Texas
• Tennessee
• Utah
• Oregon
• Washington

States that now allow criminal record expungement have not made this a permanent law. It is only probationary and may not last for long. It is highly recommended to consult a lawyer about applying for criminal record expungement before it is too late and the opportunity is gone. You may only apply for criminal expungement once in a lifetime, and one mistake can stop s person from qualifying; which is why you need a lawyer. They know how to implement the legal process of applying for record restrictions and can do so without making any mistakes or errors.

Indiana Criminal Record Expungement

Call 317-636-7514 for information about Indiana criminal record expungement today. We are highly knowledgeable in criminal record expungement law and can answer all your questions about restricting arrest records and more. Rates start as low as $850 so anyone can afford to expunge criminal records in Indiana! Call 317-636-7514 and ask for details about criminal record expungement services in Indianapolis and how to get started as soon as today.

Do You Need a Criminal Record Expungement Lawyer?

A criminal record expungement lawyer will save you a substantial amount of time, money, and frustration in the expunging process. But do you NEED one to file for expungement? The answer is no; however, it is the wisest choice for anyone who wishes to properly expunge their criminal records in the one opportunity the law gives them. One simple mistake or misspelled word can revoke a person’s right to expunge their criminal records forever. A licensed attorney can make sure that doesn’t happen, and all for a reasonable one-time fee. Continue reading to learn more about criminal record expungement attorney services and how they can help you.

Expunging or Sealing Criminal Records

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.

Generally, the cost of hiring an attorney to assist in expunging or sealing your criminal records is around $1,000, give or take. These prices go up depending on the extent of a person’s criminal history and the complexity of their case. Some lawyers may offer payment arrangements or financing plans, depending on the client’s credit history and other variables. No matter what the price, criminal record expungement is worth it tenfold.

Keep in mind that a public defender cannot offer service to assist in expungement applications and filing. You must either choose to file and apply yourself, or hire a licensed attorney for professional and organized assistance.

The Law Office of David E. Lewis

Call 317-636-7514 for criminal record expungement services in Indiana. We are licensed attorneys well-versed in the current Indiana expungement laws and guidelines. We can ensure that your application process is carried out faultlessly. Rates start as low as $850 so call today!

Can I Expunge Criminal Records with Pending Criminal Charges?

It is simply human to make mistakes. After all, making mistakes is how we learn. This gives us a great deal of wisdom, but also, regret. One of the most common “mistakes” people make in their pasts involve legal troubles and infractions. Fortunately, with the new expungement laws in Indiana, many individuals now have the opportunity to conceal past mistakes like arrests, criminal charges, and convictions. This permits people with criminal histories to explore and pursue certain prospects that were not available to them before. Expunging criminal records allows people to apply for jobs or promotions without judgement or discrimination. And it allows people to apply for certain loans, mortgages, apartments, and more.

Concealing Past Criminal Records

Concealing past criminal records can truly change a person’s life for the better. However, it is important to know that it is not something that comes along easily. Criminal record expungement is something a person can file for only once in their life. And it is a very intense and delicate application process that cannot be implemented incorrectly in any way. A simple misspelled word or missed signature can eliminate a person’s chance to expunge their criminal history. For this reason, it is necessary to hire a licensed attorney well-versed in the criminal record expungement laws and procedures. They have the proper resources and knowledge to facilitate the process flawlessly for a small one-time fee.

There are so many questions regarding expungement and the process of hiring an attorney to file for expungement. It is recommended to review some basic Criminal Record Expungement Facts to better understand the laws surrounding the application and approval process. One common questions past offenders have involves pending criminal charges. Many people want to know if they can still file for expungement if they have current pending criminal charges in the works. The answer to this questions is very simple; no.

If a person has current criminal charges pending, they are not eligible to expunge their criminal records. Once the charges are dealt with accordingly, and are no longer pending, and the individual is no longer on probation, they can then apply for criminal record expungement. This, however, does not mean they will be eligible. There are several prerequisites and requirements for eligibility. Factors such as time, the type of offense, the state, and more, all influence a person’s chances of being approved for record expungement.

Criminal Record Expungement in Indiana

Call 317-636-7514 to learn more about expunging criminal records in Indiana. We are well-versed in criminal expungement law and can help you determine your eligibility. If eligible, we can then assist in all filing and application procedures to ensure your records are legally concealed. Call 317-636-7514 to schedule an appointment today!

Pros and Cons Surrounding the Indiana Criminal Record Expungement Law

The new criminal record expungement laws are earning mixed reviews among lawyers, legal committees, counsels, and magistrates. The critics are arguing that the new law, permitting past convicted criminals to expunge their records, just doesn’t quite add up. These reconsiderations are now encouraging our communities to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the new record expungement law, and adopt our own outlooks or positions on it.

Indiana Record Expungement

The Indiana criminal record expungement law came into effect last year in an effort to relieve past offenders of their criminal record encumbrances. Its purpose is to allow people with a non-violent criminal record to conceal their criminal histories and arrest records from the public in order to qualify for better jobs and broader personal prospects. It prohibits the public, like employers and mortgage companies, from accessing a person’s criminal history in order to investigate their eligibility and entitlement. This means expunged records will not be revealed on a standard background check.

This new law is gaining much expected popularity among past Indiana offenders and criminals. According to a recent article published by IndianaBusinessJournal.com, this year more than 270 requests for criminal records expungement were received in the first six months just in Monroe County, IN (“Prosecutors: Expungement Law” par. 3). There are two principle arguments that continue to arise when discussing the pros and cons to criminal record expungement. The first argument is that the law gives people another deserved opportunity they have longed for their whole lives; while the second argument remains that the law degrades and debases our country’s justice system by essentially eliminating the long-term consequences of committing a crime.

In the same article published by IBJ.com, Monroe County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Bob Miller was quoted telling the Herald-Times of Bloomington, “On the one hand, it provides a sort of amnesty for people who made a mistake when they were younger that has haunted them since in terms of education and employment. That part is a good thing…but victims can think it unfair for an offender to clear his or her records…”(“Prosecutors: Expungement Law” pars. 5-6). This tells us that there are both positive notes, as well as doubts, no matter which side of the debate you are asking.

Although many will argue that the process of judges and prosecutors granting expungement is becoming very hasty and routine, there are still those who draw the line. Prosecutors in various counties across Indiana are frequently denying requests for expungement where they see it’s not fit or justified. For example, criminals with certain felonies, like sexual or violent crimes, are still requesting expungement but not receiving approval because of the severity of their crimes. The unfortunate part is, judges are not allowed to weigh testimony from victims when a person is being reviewed for expungement. This means that many people that may not deserve a clean record are getting one anyway.

Works Cited: “Prosecutors: Expungement Law Has Good, Bad Sides.” Indiana Business Journal, 20 July 2014. Web. 07 Aug. 2014. http://www.ibj.com/prosecutors-expungement-law-has-good-bad-sides/PARAMS/article/48674

Indiana Expungement Lawyers

Call 317-636-7514 to expunge your criminal records in Indianapolis, Indiana. We are reputable and adept Indianapolis expungement lawyers that are well-versed and proficient in the new Indiana criminal record expungement laws. Call us today at 317-636-7514 to learn more about criminal record expungement in Indianapolis, IN and its surrounding counties.

Do You Want to Expunge Your Criminal Record?

Living with a criminal record can be extremely frustrating and shameful. Many people make mistakes when their younger, or when they’re put in undesirable situations. Sometimes these situations or mistakes result in arrests, trial, and convictions. When this happens, a person has no choice but to live with the consequences that come with breaking the law. Employers, landlords, and more can access public record directories and find a person’s criminal history. They can identify whether or not a person has been arrested or convicted of a crime. Misdemeanors, companies, and simple arrests are all posted to their personal background records. Crimes and convictions follow people their entire lives and prohibits them from enjoying normal amenities that any of the person with better criminal record can enjoy. And amenities such as renting a home or apartment, or earning a promotion they are qualified for by rejected due to their criminal histories, and more.

Criminal Record Expungement Process

If you are someone with a criminal record, you might want to know how to restrict these records from the public eye. This process is called expungement. Fortunately, Indiana has passed a new law allowing criminal record expungement for people with arrest records and criminal histories. Although there are several stipulations surrounding eligibility and requirements, many people are now able to feel their criminal records from all public access; including landlords, employers, public databases, and more.

If you are somebody that wishes to expunge their criminal record, take action right away. This new law is extremely controversial and retains a huge following of naysayers and sex. It is important to act immediately and begin the process of record expungement in case the law is banished in the near future. Here is the quick guide to starting the criminal record expungement process in Indiana:

1. Recall all Previous Arrests and/or Convictions and their Dates
2. Gather All Related Legal Paperwork for Each Arrest and/or Conviction
3. Call a Criminal Record Expungement Attorney
4. Schedule a Free Initial Consultation to Assess Your Eligibility for Expungement
5. Retain the Services of a Criminal Record Expungement Lawyer
6. Follow All Instructions and Counsel Recommended by Your Expungement Attorney

Call 317-636-7514 for criminal record expungement information in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our attorneys are well-versed in the new Indiana expungement law and can answer your questions about expunging criminal records. We help our clients by offering free initial consultations to assess whether or not a client is eligible to expunge his or her criminal records in Indiana. We offer professional attorney services for adult criminal record expungement and juvenile record expungement. Contact Us at 317-636-7514 to schedule your free consultation and get started on the right track towards expunging criminal records in Indianapolis, Indiana today.