Indiana Expungements: Questions and Answers

Being convicted of a crime can be a scary and life-changing ordeal. With time, luck and a little bit of effort, though, Indiana law may allow you to put some distance between yourself and your worst mistakes. While there’s no such thing as a clean slate, expungement offers you the legal equivalent of a fresh start. If you have a felony or misdemeanor convictions that are weighing you down, doing a bit of research is the first step. Here are some of the most common questions about the process of expungement. 

How do we get started?

Once you hire the Marc Lopez Law Firm for an expungement, you’ll receive an email detailing the process. This email will include a link to an online form specifically designed to get all of your relevant information. After you answer the questions, the form is automatically sent to the Marc Lopez Law Firm. Once we have your information, we can get started on your expungement paperwork immediately. 

How long do I have to wait to expunge a conviction?

If you’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor, you have to wait five years from the date of conviction before starting the expungement process. For Level 6 (or Class D) felonies, it’s eight years. In a situation where a Level 6 felony has been reduced to a Class A misdemeanor by way of a plea agreement, you need to wait five years from the date that the felony was formally reduced to a misdemeanor. Give us a call to discuss your options regarding more serious convictions, like Level 5 felonies and above. 

What if I wasn’t convicted?

If you have an old case that was thrown out or dismissed, and you’re not comfortable with the charging information being publicly available, you might be eligible to have the record sealed. In this scenario, you need to wait one year from the date you were arrested before filing paperwork to seal the record of the case. For example, let’s say you were arrested on January 1, 2019, and your case was dismissed on June 1, 2019; you could start the sealing process on January 1, 2020.

Can Attorney Marc Lopez expunge convictions outside of Indiana?

Attorney Marc Lopez is only licensed in Indiana, and this means he can’t perform expungements anywhere else in the U.S. The reason that lawyers are licensed by state is that each state has its own rules. Some states have expungements that are automatically triggered after a certain amount of time. Others don’t allow expungements at all. Attorney Marc Lopez doesn’t know what the expungement rules are in Florida, but he does know a lot of great attorneys in other states, and he’s not shy about referrals. Even if you need out-of-state help, the Marc Lopez Law Firm will try to point you in the right direction. 

How long does the expungement process take?

Much of the expungement timeline depends on you, the client. The sooner we have the information from your questionnaire, the sooner we can get started on your paperwork. We’ll send you a copy of the paperwork to review before we file anything with the court. After you’ve reviewed and approved everything, we file, and then the State has 30 days to respond with either agreement, objection, or a request for more time. Under certain circumstances, if the State fails to respond, the court will automatically grant the requested expungement. Attorney Marc Lopez advises that it typically takes 60 days to complete the expungement process, with more time required for folks with an extensive criminal history.  

How many expungements does Indiana allow?

If you’re considering filing for an expungement, you want to make sure that all of your bad behavior is in your past. This is because In Indiana, you only get one expungement, so it’s best to make it count. If you’re confident that your outlaw days are behind you, you’ll need to file a separate expungement petition in each county where you have a criminal conviction, and all petitions must be filed within one year of each other. This is why it’s so important to gather all of your criminal history information up front. 

Who can benefit from an expungement?

Expungement has the potential to help anyone who’s been convicted of an eligible crime. Prime candidates for the expungement or record-sealing process include:

  1. College graduates looking to land a prestigious job;
  2. Adults with metaphorical skeletons in their respective closets;
  3. Aspiring politicians or public figures;
  4. Anyone getting back into the dating scene or trying to turn over a new leaf;
  5. Everyone concerned about privacy or the fact that their past indiscretions are available to browse on

Some people can live without ever looking back, but most of us grapple with the past on a regular basis. If there’s even a chance of your criminal history coming back to haunt you, you owe it to yourself to explore the possibility of expungement. Give us a call at 317-632-3642 for a free consultation.