Currently, Indiana has two separate sets of laws that may help you clean up your criminal record. In some cases, your record may be eligible for expungement -- that is, complete erasure. In others, your record may qualify for restricted access. If access to your criminal record is restricted under Indiana law, it means that only criminal justice agencies and, sometimes, child service agencies can see your record. Whether your record is expunged or restricted, you may legally state on an employment application that you have not been convicted of a crime.
Here are the circumstances under which your criminal record may qualify for expungement or restricted access.
Expungement. You can file a petition to have your criminal record expunged if you were not actually charged with a crime or if the charges against you were dropped because:
Your petition will most likely be granted unless you have a record of arrests other than minor traffic offenses, or additional criminal charges are pending against you.
(Indiana Code § 35-38-5-1.)
Restricted access. You can petition to restrict access to your criminal record if:
(Indiana Code § 35-38-5-5.5.)
Special provision for DNA evidence. If your conviction was reversed and the case was dismissed, you may petition to have your DNA profile expunged from the state DNA database. (Indiana Code § 10-13-6-18.)
(Indiana Code § 35-38-8.)
Restricted access for other offenses. If you have been discharged from probation, imprisonment, or parole, and it has been at least 15 years since the date of your discharge, you may petition the state police to restrict access to your criminal record. (Indiana Code § 35-38-5-5.)
Indiana’s expungement and criminal record restriction laws are complex. To learn more about cleaning up your criminal record in Indiana -- and to discuss your personal circumstances -- you should contact a qualified criminal law attorney. A good lawyer can guide you each step of the way.