People make mistakes in life. Sometimes those mistakes lead to serious consequences, like criminal charges and (possibly) a conviction. Once someone has a criminal record, trying to live an ordinary life becomes much more difficult. However, Indiana state law enables some people to seek an expungement of their criminal record, although this possibility does come with many stipulations.
In May of 2013, Indiana enacted a new expungement law that can help people reclaim their lives after a criminal conviction — but there are a lot of caveats that have to be considered. One of these is that you can only seek expungement once in your lifetime. This means that if you get into legal trouble that results in a conviction again, you won’t be able to seek expungement later.
Another point to know is that if your criminal record is expunged, you should also ensure that it is sealed. Expungement by itself won’t keep those records out of the public view. Instead, expungement limits how the records are used in court. When the criminal records are sealed, they aren’t accessible by the public during background checks or through online searches.
It’s sometimes possible for a prosecutor to have a defendant’s records unsealed if they have to use the information to prosecute a case. If this occurs, the records must be resealed as soon as possible if the prosecution doesn’t result in a conviction. (In the event the person is convicted of the new crime, the records don’t have to be resealed.)
There are a lot of finer points that are present when it comes to expungements in Indiana. Working with an attorney who’s familiar with these is beneficial, especially since the law is amended often.