Fort Wayne Expungement Lawyers
We Can Help You Clear Your Criminal Record in Indiana
Expungement allows you to seal your criminal records in Indiana from individuals other than law enforcement officers and other government entities. It takes any arrests or convictions off your criminal record. If this is something that you are interested in, our Fort Wayne expungement lawyers at Arnold Terrill Ridenour, P.C. can help you determine your eligibility and file the proper petition.
Reasons To Choose Our Indiana Expungement Lawyers:
- Free phone consultations
- 75+ years of collective experience
- Committed to achieving your goals
- Client satisfaction is our #1 priority
- Passionate about defending the accused
- Recognized and honored legal team
- Rated Top Criminal Defense Lawyers in Fort Wayne by Fort Wayne Monthly Magazine
The following types of convictions cannot be expunged in Indiana:
- Sexual or violent crimes
- Official misconduct
- Human or sexual trafficking
- Murder or homicide
To obtain an expungement in Indiana, you will have to file a petition to expunge in the county in which the conviction was entered. You will have to pay a fee for the filing. A petition for an expungement is not something to be taken lightly. As such, our legal team is here to help you remove all convictions from your record.
Am I Eligible for an Expungement in Indiana?
Here are some basic terms for expungement qualification:
- The crime you committed was not a violent felony, such as rape, murder, vehicular manslaughter, or another crime that resulted in serious injury or harm to another.
- The proper amount of time has passed since your conviction (five years for misdemeanors, eight to ten years for felonies, depending on the charge).
- You may not have had a different conviction expunged previously (expungement can only be granted one time, though you can expunge multiple charges with one petition).
- You must not have gotten into any further legal trouble between the date of your conviction and your petitioning of the court.
While you may fit this description and qualify for expungement, you are not guaranteed that your expungement will be granted. You will have to petition the court and plead your case before a judge as to why you have continued to suffer from consequences of your conviction, why expunging your charges is beneficial for society, and that you are not a risk for repeating your crime or committing any others in the future.
It’s strongly advised you contact a Fort Wayne expungement attorney for help with this petition, as they can represent you and plead your case in a strong and impactful manner to give you the best possible chance of a positive and successful outcome.
Expungement vs Record Sealing in Indiana
Both of these processes have a similar goal: shield the petitioner’s prior criminal history from creditors, potential housing landlords, and even potential employers, who may look down upon those with a criminal past. However, these two process are different, have different results, and different qualifications in order to obtain the desired outcome.
Expungement is the process of essentially eliminating a criminal history by completely hiding it from public view, making it as though the crime never happened. When expungement is granted, the record for one or more offenses is destroyed, wiping it from the public record and sealing it so it can only be accessed in extremely rare circumstances. This means it’ll no longer appear on background checks, and you are legally allowed to deny having ever been arrested or charged with a crime.
Expungement is widely available, provided your charges are not for a violent felony like rape or murder. However, you can only be granted expungement once, which means you need to be careful once your record is expunged: you won’t be able to go through the process again.
Record sealing is different from expungement in that you can’t necessarily seal a conviction, but you may seal any previous history of arrests you have. If you are arrested but not convicted, you may petition to have your arrest record sealed exactly one year from the date of the arrest itself. So long as the seal is granted, all court files, BMV records, background check records, and state police central repository records will be sealed, and your background check will once again show up clean.
These are also an available option for those who have had their case dismissed after a diversion agreement. Diversion agreements allow first-time offenders for minor crimes like shoplifting, marijuana possession, and underage drinking to have their case dismissed a year after their arrest, provided they adhered to the terms of the agreement (which may involve community service, education classes, and staying out of trouble).
In either instance it’s strongly advised that you seek help from a qualified Indiana criminal defense attorney who can help you submit a strong petition and then stand up to defend you at your hearing.
Benefits Of Expunging Your Criminal Record
- Better chances of obtaining a job.
- Better chances of obtaining housing.
- Better chances of obtaining loans.
- Better chances of improving your life.
Once your record has been expunged, you can legally deny that a criminal record ever existed. You will not have to mention your past convictions or arrests on future applications for employment, education, or loans. If your petition is denied, you must wait 3 years before filing again. Because of how high the stakes are and how complex expungement law is, it would be beneficial to retain an experienced Indiana expungement attorney on your side. Do you want to know if you are eligible to file for expungement and to permanently seal your criminal records? Schedule your free consultation with our legal team today! Our goal is to answer all your questions and to provide you with the favorable solution you seek.
Our firm has built a great reputation due to our proven track record of success in complex cases.
Our legal team will provide a vigorous defense regardless of the severity of the charge.
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We understand that time is of the essence. We are available 24/7 and offer free consultations.
At Arnold Terrill Ridenour, P.C., our attorneys have a combined 75 years of legal experience.