What is the Expungement Process for a Criminal Charge?

Whether just an arrest or an actual conviction, a criminal charge can have adverse, on-going effects for minors and adults alike. These difficult, downward consequences can diminish a person’s quality of life in many ways, both personally and professionally. A delinquent criminal record can make it almost impossible to get approved for rental housing, home and business loans, and promotions or job opportunities.

Even if a person is hard-working, trustworthy, and ambitious, they can be held back from their true potential, personally and professionally, with a criminal record. Fortunately, many states have adopted new laws surrounding criminal record expungement, which allows certain individuals to seal or destroy their arrest and criminal records. This gives them back the opportunity to have a home, job, and reputation they can be proud of. Continue reading to learn the process for expunging a criminal charge, and how to get started as soon as today.

Expunging a Criminal Charge

There are three phases to the criminal charge expungement process: 1) Hiring a lawyer, 2) Filing a petition, and 3) Judicial review. The initial, and most important, step is to hire a criminal defense lawyer who specializes in expungement services. You need the assistance of a licensed attorney because the procedures and requirements for filing a motion for expungement are highly complex. Just one mistake, whether a misspelled name or missing document, can cost a person their only chance to apply for criminal record expungement. This is because the law only allows a person to file once in their lifetime, no matter what the circumstances. A qualified criminal defense lawyer can navigate this process for you to ensure everything is done correctly.

The second phase to the criminal expungement process is to file a petition in the county, or counties, where your convictions and arrests took place. If you have multiple arrests or convictions, they can be filed as one petition so long as they are completed within a one year window. This phase should be handled by your legal representative, during which they will file the necessary petitions and provide the necessary documentation in each county of your arrests and convictions, all in due time. During this phase, you will be required to pay a court filing fee for a petition for expungement, which generally costs between $140 and $170 in most Indiana courts. It is possible for this fee to be waived in some cases. If you are petitioning to expunge an arrest that never led to a conviction, there is no filing fee.

The third phase of the criminal expungement process is the judicial review stage. This is when the courts will either grant or deny a person’s petition for expungement. If denied, either from court discretion or procedural errors, you must wait three years before filing again, and cannot file for the same criminal convictions as before. If granted expungement, all previously-lost civil rights and privileges are restored. A person can legally state that they were never convicted of such crime on job applications, mortgage loans, tenant applications, and more.

Criminal Expungement Services

Call 317-636-7514 for criminal record expungement services in Indianapolis, Indiana. We are well-versed in Indiana’s Second Chance Law, and can help you seal or expunge criminal records in all Indiana counties. Our services are economically-priced, and start as low as $850! Call 317-636-7514 to schedule a no-risk consultation for criminal record expungement in Indianapolis, IN today.