Expunging or Restricting Access to Adult Criminal Records in Indiana

In Indiana, it you may be able to expunge—that is, seal or otherwise clean up—your criminal record under the circumstances described below. In most cases, after your record is expunged or sealed, you may legally state on an employment application that you have not been convicted of a crime.

In Indiana, it you may be able to expunge—that is, seal or otherwise clean up—your criminal record under the circumstances described below. In most cases, after your record is expunged or sealed, you may legally state on an employment application that you have not been convicted of a crime. (Indiana Code § 35-38-9-10 (2018).)

Here are the circumstances under which your criminal record may qualify for expungement.

Expungement in Indiana if You Do Not Have a Conviction on Your Criminal Record

Non-conviction records may be eligible for expungement and sealing. Sealing a criminal record typically prohibits anyone from accessing it without a court order.

After a waiting period of one year from the date of your arrest, you can file a petition to have your criminal record expunged and sealed if:

  • you were arrested but not convicted of a crime, or
  • you were convicted but your conviction was later vacated.

(Indiana Code § 35-38-9-1 (2018).)

Expungement in Indiana if There Is a Conviction on Your Criminal Record

Convictions for many misdemeanors, Class D felonies, and Class D felonies that were reduced to misdemeanors may be expunged and sealed. With some exceptions, sealed records cannot be disclosed to anyone without a court order. Records of more serious felony convictions will remain public even after expungement, although they must be clearly marked as having been expunged. Some convictions, however, are ineligible for expungement, as described below.

Convictions for Misdemeanors, Class D Felonies, and Class D Felonies Reduced to Misdemeanors

If you were convicted of a misdemeanor, a Class D felony that was reduced to a misdemeanor, or a Class D felony, you may petition to expunge and seal your criminal record if:

  • you have not been convicted of two or more separate felonies involving a deadly weapon
  • you did not commit a violent crime or a sex offense
  • you have no charges pending against you
  • you have paid all fines, fees, court costs, or restitution associated with your case, and
  • you do not have any new convictions on your record.

Convictions for some Class D felonies, including homicide, offenses that resulted in bodily injury, human trafficking, perjury, and crimes committed while serving as an elected official or candidate for public office, are ineligible for sealing.

If you were convicted of a misdemeanor (or a Class D felony that was reduced to a misdemeanor), you must wait five years from the date of your conviction before applying for expungement. If you were convicted of a Class D felony, the waiting period is eight years from the date of your conviction.

(Indiana Code §§ 35-38-9-2, 35-38-9-3, 35-38-9-6 (2018).)

Other Felony Convictions

If you were convicted of a felony other than a Class D felony, you may petition to expunge your record if:

  • you have not been convicted of two or more separate felonies involving a deadly weapon
  • you have no charges pending against you
  • you have paid all fines, fees, court costs, or restitution associated with your case, and
  • you do not have any new convictions on your record.

Some felony convictions, including those for most violent crimes, sex offenses, official misconduct, and human trafficking, cannot be expunged.

For most felony convictions, you must wait eight years after the date of your conviction (or three years after the completion of your sentence) before petitioning for expungement. If you were convicted of a felony that resulted in serious bodily injury, or you were serving as an elected official or were a candidate for public office when you were convicted, the waiting period is ten years from the date of your conviction (or five years after you have completed your sentence).

(Indiana Code §§ 35-38-9-4, 35-38-9-5, 35-38-9-7 (2018).)

Getting Legal Help

Indiana’s expungement laws are complex, and they can change at any time. 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.

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