No one wants a criminal record. However, everyone makes mistakes, and you could one day find yourself with a black mark on an otherwise clean past.

Should this happen, it won’t be long before you realize that it can negatively impact your life for years to come. Even after your sentence is behind you, your record can follow you.

For example, here are some of the ways a criminal record can affect your future:

  • Difficulty securing employment, as a background check will turn up your conviction
  • Difficulty finding a home to rent
  • Missing out on financial aid benefits as you pursue a college degree
  • Inability to legally own a gun

And that’s just the start. There are many other ways that a criminal record can hold you back from living your best life.

While all of this is scary, there may be an answer to your problem: expungement.

When a criminal record is expunged, it means it’s no longer available through most public searches. Subsequently, you don’t have nearly as much to worry about when you apply for a job, search for a home to rent or seek financial aid to continue your education.

The process depends on the conviction

There is more than one type of crime. Some of them are serious and some of them are minor offenses. And that’s why the expungement process hinges largely on the nature of the crime. Consider the following:

  • Misdemeanor conviction: In Indiana, you can seek an expungement of a misdemeanor conviction if you’ve met all conditions of your sentence and it has been five years since the date of conviction.
  • Class D felony convictions without bodily injury: Expungement is possible if you’ve met all conditions of your sentence and a minimum of eight years have passed since the date of conviction.
  • Felony convictions with bodily injury: It’s more complicated, but not impossible, to get an expungement if your conviction is associated with bodily harm to another individual. In this case, you must satisfy the conditions of your sentence and wait 10 years.

Don’t let a conviction bog you down for the rest of your life. Learn more about your legal rights and how to seek an expungement.