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How to Get a Criminal Record Expunged in Lafayette IN

  • 17 February 2017
  • Author: joshg
  • Number of views: 1161
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How to Get a Criminal Record Expunged in Lafayette IN

Is a prior conviction holding you back from getting that job that you always wanted or are you tired of the embarrassment of a criminal record following you around? If you have a previous arrest that did not result in conviction, a conviction for a misdemeanor, or even in some circumstances, a felony conviction, there may be options available to you to get the records of your arrests or convictions expunged.  

You should take advantage of a free consultation with an experienced attorney at McCoy Law who regularly handles expungement cases to see if you are eligible.  It is usually in your best interests to hire an attorney due the complexity of the expungement statues.  If you try to act on your own behalf, the Court is supposed to hold you to the same standard as an attorney – a standard you most likely will not be able to meet without extensive legal training.  A simple oversight, failing to meet the burden of proof, or not complying with legal procedures could result in your expungement being denied and if your expungement is denied you may not get a second chance   to file for an expungement again.

AM I ELIGIBLE?

The answer is it depends on what you are trying to get expunged.  For expungements of arrests that did not result in conviction, if it has been more than one year since the date of the arrest, you were not convicted, and you are not participating in a pre-trial diversion program for another offense, then you probably qualify to get those records expunged.   For expungements of records of a conviction, the class, level, seriousness of the conviction, or even other unrelated convictions that you may have, will determine whether you can file for an expungement and how long you must go without committing new offense before you can have the conviction expunged. 

Everyone’s situation is going to be a little bit different, that’s why it’s important to contact an experienced attorney at McCoy Law who will review your specific situation and will be able to tell you if you are eligible for an expungement now, or if not now, when you will be eligible in the future, that way you can plan ahead so that when you are eligible you can get your arrests or convictions expunged once and for all.  Some people, due to the nature of a prior offense or offenses, may be specifically prohibited from seeking an expungement all together, and if that’s the case, the attorneys at McCoy Law will tell you this upfront during your expungement consultation.

EXPUNGING ARRESTS THAT DID NOT RESULT IN A CONVICTION

Unlike expungements for convictions where the class, level, seriousness of offense, or unrelated prior convictions determine if and when you can file to have the conviction expunged, expungements of arrests that did not result in conviction can be filed regardless of the nature of offense.  Also unlike expungement of convictions, for expungements of arrests not resulting in a conviction you do not have to pay a filing fee and individuals are not currently limited to one lifetime filing for expungements of arrests that did not result in a conviction.

There are a number of ways someone could end up in this situation, but in general, if you were arrested and that arrest did not result in either a conviction or a juvenile adjudication you may be eligible to file to expunge the records of those arrests.   To be eligible you cannot currently be participating in a pretrial diversion program for another offense and it has to have been at least one year since the date of the arrest.  In the case of convictions or adjudications that were later vacated on appeal, it must have been at least one year from the date the conviction or adjudication was vacated.  In both circumstances, the prosecutor can agree in writing to allow someone to file earlier than the one year waiting period; however, this is completely within in the discretion of the prosecutor, and in practice, is not something that they agree to do in most cases. 

Most individuals eligible for this type of expungement were first time offenders who had minor charges like Minor Consumption, Public Intoxication, Theft, or Possession of Marijuana and who completed a pre-trial diversion program or the judgement may have been withheld upon the condition of completing certain terms and the charges were later dismissed.  While this type of expungement may be most commonly associated with first time offenders, that does not mean you have to have a minor criminal history to qualify for this type of expungement.   Any arrest that did not result in a conviction is eligible.  So if the prosecutor declined to file charges, filed charges that were later dismissed, or you went to trial and were an acquitted the records of those arrests can be expunged one year after the date of the arrest. 

WHAT IF I WASN’T ARRESTED?

While the term arrest includes what people traditionally think of as an arrest, that you were arrested by a law enforcement officer and went to jail, you don’t actually have to be arrested and go to jail to qualify.  In the case certain of misdemeanor offenses, an individual may be given a summons by a law enforcement officer to later appear in court and never actual go to jail.  In other cases an individual may be investigated by law enforcement who later forward the results of the investigation to the prosecutor’s office who file charges and the individual is ordered to appear in court but is never arrested.  In both of these circumstances, if the person is not ultimately convicted of the offense then the records can be expunged.

EXPUNGEMENT OF CONVICTIONS

Expungement of convictions are separated into four categories based on the seriousness of the conviction that is being expunged Misdemeanors; Minor Class D or Level 6 Felonies; Certain Less Serious Felony Convictions; and Serious Felony Convictions.  The payment of a filing fee is required and unlike expungements of arrests that did not result in a conviction, individuals are limited to one petition to expunge conviction in their lifetime.  If an individual has multiple convictions in one county, so long as they otherwise qualify for expungement, all the convictions in that county can be expunged but must be included within the same petition.  If an individual has multiple convictions in multiple counties, a separate petition must be filed in each county and must be done within 365 days of the filing of the first petition for expungement. However, any convictions that come after you obtain your expungement or if you do not include all convictions from one county in the petition for expungement or you fail to file to expunge a conviction in another county within 365 days, those later convictions or convictions you forgot about cannot be expunged. That’s why it’s important to speak with an experienced attorney at McCoy Law to ensure your expungement is handled properly.

EXPUNGEMENT OF MISDEMEANOR CONVICTIONS

If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor you may file to expunge your conviction five years after the date the conviction was entered.  This includes Class D and Level 6 felony convictions that were later reduced to misdemeanors. To qualify you must have paid all your fines, fees, and court costs and satisfied any restitution requirement.  You must also have not had any other convictions within the five years preceding the filing of the petition and not have any charges currently pending against you. The prosecutor can agree in writing to allow someone to file earlier than the five year waiting period; however, this is completely within in the discretion of the prosecutor, and in practice, is not something that they agree to do in most cases. 

 Only individuals who have two or more felony convictions that involved the unlawful use of a deadly weapon and did not arise from the same episode of criminal conduct are prohibited from expunging a misdemeanor conviction.

 EXPUNGEMENT MINOR CLASS D OR LEVEL 6 FELONIES

If you have been convicted of a Class D or Level 6 felony you may file to expunge your conviction eight years after the date the conviction was entered.  To qualify you must have paid all your fines, fees, and court costs and satisfied any restitution requirement.  You must also have not had any other convictions within the eight years preceding the filing of the petition and not have any charges pending against you.  The prosecutor can agree in writing to allow someone to file earlier than the eight year waiting period; however, this is completely within in the discretion of the prosecutor, and in practice, is not something that they agree to do in most cases.

Elected officials convicted of an offense while serving the official's term or as a candidate for public office, sex or violent offenders, a person convicted of a felony that resulted in bodily injury to another person, a person convicted of perjury or official misconduct, a person convicted of an offense described in IC 35-42-1 (Homicide), IC 35-42-3.5 (Human and Sexual Trafficking), or IC 35-42-4 (Sex Crimes); and individuals who have two or more felony convictions that involved the unlawful use of a deadly weapon that did not arise from the same episode of criminal conduct are prohibited from expunging a Class D or Level 6 Felony conviction under this portion of the expungement statute.

EXPUNGEMENT OF CERTAIN LESS SERIOUS FELONY CONVICTIONS

If you have been convicted of a less serious felony, including a Class D or Level 6 felony that resulted in bodily injury or perjury, and are not otherwise disqualified, you may file to expunge your conviction eight years after the date the conviction was entered but it also must have been at least three years since the completion of the entire length of your sentence.  To qualify you must have paid all your fines, fees, and court costs and satisfied any restitution requirement.  You must also have not had any other convictions within the eight years preceding the filing of the petition and not have any charges currently pending against you. The prosecutor can agree in writing to allow someone to file earlier than the eight year waiting period from the date of conviction or three years from the completion of your sentence; however, this is completely within in the discretion of the prosecutor, and in practice, is not something that they agree to do in most cases.  

Elected officials convicted of an offense while serving the official's term or as a candidate for public office, sex or violent offenders, a person convicted of a felony that resulted in serious bodily injury to another person, a person convicted of official misconduct, a person convicted of an offense described in IC 35-42-1 (Homicide), IC 35-42-3.5 (Human and Sexual Trafficking), or IC 35-42-4 (Sex Crimes); and individuals who have two or more felony convictions that involved the unlawful use of a deadly weapon that did not arise from the same episode of criminal conduct are prohibited from expunging a felony conviction under this portion of the expungement statute.

SERIOUS FELONY CONVICTIONS

If you have been convicted of a serious felony, including if you were an elected official convicted of an offense while serving the your term or as a candidate for public office or a person convicted of a felony that resulted in serious bodily injury to another person, and are not otherwise disqualified, you may file to expunge your conviction ten years after the date the conviction was entered but it must also have been at least five years from the completion of the entire length of your sentence.  To qualify you must have paid all your fines, fees, and court costs and satisfied any restitution requirement and the prosecuting attorney has to consent to the expungement in writing.  You must also have not had any other convictions within the ten years preceding the filing of the petition and not have any charges currently pending against you. The prosecutor can agree in writing to allow someone to file earlier than the ten year waiting period from the date of conviction or five years from the completion of your sentence; however, this is completely within in the discretion of the prosecutor, and in practice, is not something that they agree to do in most cases.  

Sex or violent offenders, a person convicted of official misconduct, a person convicted of an offense described in IC 35-42-1 (Homicide), IC 35-42-3.5 (Human and Sexual Trafficking), or IC 35-42-4 (Sex Crimes); and individuals who have two or more felony convictions that involved the unlawful use of a deadly weapon that did not arise from the same episode of criminal conduct are prohibited from expunging a felony conviction under this portion of the expungement statute.

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