In Indiana, anyone may petition a juvenile court at any time to expunge juvenile court records. If your petition for expungement is approved, your juvenile record will be removed from court files, law enforcement agency files, and the files of any other person who provided services (such as therapy or counseling) to you under court order. The records will be either destroyed or given back to you, and you need not disclose their existence to anyone. (Indiana Statutes §§ 31-39-8-1 to 31-39-8-7.)
Does Your Juvenile Record Qualify for Expungement?
There are no hard and fast rules for determining when an Indiana juvenile court record will be expunged. The juvenile court considers each case individually. When deciding whether to grant a request to expunge your juvenile court record, the judge may consider:
- what is in your best interests
- your age when you were subject to juvenile court or law enforcement proceedings
- the nature of the allegations against you
- whether there was an informal adjustment or you were adjudicated delinquent
- the outcome of your case
- whether you successfully completed any court ordered or supervised services
- how long it has been since you have been subject to juvenile court or law enforcement proceedings
- whether you have a criminal record, and
- your current status.
(Indiana Statutes § 31-39-8-3.)
How to File
You must file a petition for expungement with the juvenile court that handled your case. For more information, including the forms you’ll need, contact the court clerk’s office.
Getting Legal Help
Clearing a juvenile record can be complicated. If you are not sure whether your record qualifies for expungement in Indiana -- or for help completing the necessary paperwork and presenting your case to the juvenile court -- you should contact a qualified criminal law attorney. A good lawyer can guide you each step of the way.