If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or Class D (or Level 6) felony that was later reduced to a misdemeanor, you may be eligible for an expungement of the conviction. In order to file for an expungement, you, or your attorney, must file a Petition for Expungement of Conviction with the Court in the county in which you were convicted. There is a filing fee associated with the Petition for Expungement of Conviction. A Petition for Expungement of Conviction may only be filed once in your life, so it is important to have an attorney assist you to ensure it is done correctly.
If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence (or “more likely than not”) that: (a) five (5) years have passed since the date of conviction, unless the prosecuting attorney has consented, in writing, to an earlier time; (b) no charges are pending against you; (c) you have paid all fines, fees, and court costs and satisfied any restitution, if any, placed on you as part of your sentence; and (d) you have not been convicted within the previous five (5) years; the Court must expunge the records.
What does the expungement of a misdemeanor or Class D (Level 6) felony that was later reduced to a misdemeanor mean? An expungement does not mean is that your conviction record is destroyed. Rather, all court records, arrest records, and any other documents related to the conviction are placed under a permanent seal. Under Indiana law, the Department of Corrections, BMV, and each law enforcement agency are prohibited from releasing the records or any information related to your conviction. The records of the sentencing court, juvenile court, Court of Appeals, or Supreme Court must be redacted and permanently sealed. Furthermore, if there was a Court of Appeals or Supreme Court opinion or memorandum decisions, those must be redacted. However, a prosecutor may request the Court to gain access to the expunged records if you are subsequently charged with a crime.
One important aspect of an expungement is that it is illegal for employers to ask about expunged records on a job application. Employers asking about prior convictions must ask “Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a crime that has not been expunged by a court?”
If you or someone you know has been convicted of a misdemeanor or a Class D (or Level 6) Felony that was later reduced to a misdemeanor and would like to have the records expunged, please contact our office immediately. It is important to hire an attorney to assist you with this process.