A criminal conviction can carry all sorts of consequences, even some which extend beyond the scope of the penalties that are associated with your sentence. It’s not uncommon for those who are found guilty or have a criminal history to struggle with finding housing, getting a loan, or even seeking a job so they can support themselves and their families. Fortunately, the law also gives these individuals recourse to reset their lives, known as expungement.
Expungement is essentially a legal order to seal your criminal record, making it as though the crime never happened. When a record is expunged, it no longer appears on public criminal background checks, cannot be found by creditors, and gives you the ability to honestly and truthfully say you have never been convicted of an offense.
There are several different types of expungement that are available in the state of Indiana. Let’s take a closer look at them:
Arrest Record Expungement
This is perhaps the most common type of expungement. When you are arrested, your booking goes into the public record and does show up on background checks, even if you were ultimately released or found innocent. If you were arrested and subsequently released without charges or after being found innocent, you can petition for immediate expungement of your record so the arrest no longer shows.
Conviction expungement eliminates all records of one or more criminal convictions, provided the petitioner qualifies. The conviction can’t be a violent felony (rape or murder), but you can expunge more than one charge at the same time. Those who have their records expunged will no longer have the criminal conviction on their public history.
Gun Rights Restoration
Those who are convicted of a felony will have their right to own and bear firearms revoked. However, those who may not necessarily qualify for expungement may still be able to get their right to bear arms restored through this process. Talk to a Fort Wayne criminal attorney to find out more and determine whether or not you should pursue this option.
If you have been convicted co a Class D felony, you may be able to reduce the felony to a Class A misdemeanor, provided your felony was not a sex or violent offense or an offense that resulted in bodily injury to a victim.