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How to Get a Felony Off Your Record in Indiana

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A felony has a big impact on a person’s life and if you live in Indiana, you’ve come here trying to find out how to get the felony off your record.  Realize that with all felony records, there are three options you can take.  1) Expunge Your Record2) Seal Your Record,3) Request a Pardon of Your RecordThe problem though is that all states don’t offer all three of these options. But before we get into what Indiana offers, let’s review what each of these options actually mean.

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Expungement

If you get your record expunged in Indiana it’s as if your arrest and/or charges never happened. Your record is completely destroyed, including all physical and public records. When asked if have a criminal record, after expungement, you can truthfully answer “no”.

Record Sealing

Sealing your record in Indiana is similar to expungement, but your record still exists in a limited form. The public does not have access to your record, but there are some exceptions. Your records can still be accessed by law enforcement and the courts. Record sealing is not as secure as expungement, but it is a reasonable alternative that is comparatively easier to obtain if your state offers it.

Pardons

If you receive a pardon in Indiana, you still have record of your arrest or charge, but your guilt is exonerated. That is, you have proven that you are rehabilitated and forgiven for your crimes. You can also get relief in terms of having various rights restored, such as your right to vote. The requirements for pardons vary between states, but typically there is a lot of documentation required, and includes lengthy waiting periods to apply and receive a pardon.

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Things to Know Before You Start

First: It’s important to understand that every state is different in terms of what methods are available for felons to remove their record and the information below will help you understand what you can do in Indiana.

Felony Expungement in Indiana

Yes, it is possible to expunge your felony in Indiana but it depends on the felony.

Sealing a Recordin Indiana

Yes, it is possible to seal your record in Indiana but it depends on the felony.

Getting a Pardonin Indiana

Yes, it is possible to get a pardon of your record in Indiana but it depends on the felony.

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Second: When trying to clear your record, you really have two options.  The first is to get a free consultation from a lawyer to see what they think of your case, and the second is to try to do all of the paperwork yourself.  

Third: We HIGHLY recommend that you get a free consultation from a lawyer prior to taking any action.  We say this because whether you want to expunge, seal, or pardon your record, it’s an extremely complicated process.  Failure to follow the process properly can end up with you being denied for the request and having to wait additional time (sometimes several years) before you can file again.  In addition, getting an expungement lawyer can increase your odds of succeeding and sometimes it’s more affordable than you think.  The first step is to click on the button below to confirm that you’re eligible for the expungement/sealing of your record.

TAKE THE ELIGIBILITY TESTQuick NavigationCan You Expunge a Felony in Indiana?How to Expunge a Felony in IndianaCan You Seal Your Criminal Record in Indiana?How to Seal Your Criminal Record in IndianaCan You Apply for a Pardon in Indiana?How to Apply for a Pardon in Indiana

Can You Expunge a Felony in Indiana?

You can petition to expunge your felony record in Indiana, if at least eight years have passed since the date you were convicted or three years have passed from the date you completed your sentence, whichever is later. If you were convicted of a serious felony, you must wait at least ten years since the date you were convicted or five years from the date you completed your sentence, whichever is later.

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CANNOT EXPUNGE IF…

<p><strong>You were charged as a sex offender or violent offender</strong></p><p>If you were charged as either a sex offender or a violent offender, or a felony resulting in serious bodily injury to another person, you cannot petition the court to have your record expunged</p><p><strong>No Charges Pending</strong></p><p>If there are no charges pending against you, and you have paid all court costs, fines, and restitutions</p><p><strong>More than two felony convictions</strong></p><p>If you have more than two felony convictions that involve the use of a deadly weapon, you cannot petition to have your record expunged.</p><p><strong>Conviction of Perjury</strong></p><p>If you were convicted of perjury, you cannot have your record expunged.</p>

How to Expunge a Felony in Indiana

<p>There is a specific set of steps you must follow to have your record expunged in Indiana.</p><p>You only get one chance to have all of your convictions expunged, so it is very important that you work with an experienced attorney to make sure deadlines are met and all convictions are included. If you were convicted of offenses in multiple counties, a separate petition must be filed in each county, and all expungement petitions must be filed within 365 days of each other. If you miss these deadlines or fail to include a conviction, you may be barred from ever expunging those convictions.</p><p>Note: In most cases, the filing fee for a petition for expungement is equal to the court’s civil filing fee (currently $156 for most courts).  The court may reduce or waive this fee if you are homeless or earn a living below the poverty standard.</p><ol><li>Before you begin this process, we insist that you <a draggable=”false” href=”https://www.felonyrecordhub.com/test/expungement”>take this eligibility test</a> to determine if you’re eligible to expunge your record.</li><li>If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because expungements are mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you.</li><li>If you are <u>not</u> eligible for expungement based on our test, then you should stop here.</li><li>If you are eligible based on our test and want to do this without a lawyer, continue reading.</li><li>In order to have your records expunged, you must file a petition to expunge in the county in which the conviction was entered.  You must go to that county website or call the county clerk’s office to find the correct form.<ul><li>If you are seeking to expunge multiple convictions in the same county, you must do so in the same petition.</li><li>If you wish to expunge convictions in separate counties, you must file a petition in each county in which a conviction was entered.</li></ul></li></ol>

Can You Seal Your Criminal Record in Indiana?

In 2013, the Indiana General Assembly passed legislation permitting individuals to seal portions of their criminal record. Although this has been nicknamed an “expungement law,” this law, Indiana’s Second Chance Law, only restricts access to criminal records. It does not forever erase or expunge one’s criminal history.  If you were arrested but no charges were filed, the charges were dismissed, or you were acquitted, you may be eligible to have the arrest record sealed.

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CANNOT SEAL IF…

<p><strong>10 Years of Completion</strong></p><p>You must wait 10 years after the successful completion of your sentence  (this includes the completion of any term of supervised release and the satisfaction of all other obligations placed on you as part of the sentence, unless the prosecuting attorney consents in writing to an earlier period)</p><ul><li>For a less serious felony, you must wait eight years after the successful completion of your sentence</li></ul><p><strong>No Charges Pending</strong></p><p>There must be no charges pending against you; this includes a pending driver’s license suspension.</p><p><strong>Approval from Prosecuting Attorney</strong></p><p>The prosecuting attorney from your case must consent in writing to the expungement of your criminal records..</p>

How to Seal Your Criminal Record in Indiana

<p>The procedure to get a criminal record sealed by a court in Indiana is a complicated process involving several steps:</p><ol><li>Before you begin this process, we insist that you <a draggable=”false” href=”https://www.felonyrecordhub.com/test/expungement”>take this eligibility test</a> to determine if you’re eligible to seal your record.</li><li>If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because expungements are mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you.</li><li>If you are <u>not</u> eligible to seal your record based on our test, then you should stop here.</li><li>If you are eligible to seal your record based on our test and want to do this without a lawyer, continue reading.</li><li>Complete the petition (guidance for the required content of the petition is provided in the <a href=”http://www.indy.gov/eGov/County/Clerk/criminal/Documents/IC%2035-38-9%20(Second%20Chance%20Law%20-%20v2014).pdf”>statute IC 35-38-9</a></li><li>Bring your original petition AND two copies of the petition to Civil Filing division of the Marion County Clerk’s Office located in room W122 of the City/County Building located at 200 E. Washington Street.<ul><li>Though the petition concerns criminal matters, it will be given a civil case cause number and assigned as a miscellaneous (MI) case type.</li><li>Clerk staff will take original and provide you with one copy of the petition.</li><li>Clerk staff will distribute the other copy of petition to the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.</li></ul></li><li><p>Court staff will notify you of any hearing AND whether or not your petition is granted.</p><ul><li>If you are called in for a hearing/interview, you must not only attend but also look and act your best. Dress in the same way you would if you were going to court for a trial (this means, a suit and tie).</li><li>The hearing/interview is an excellent opportunity to put a human face onto your application; it lets the court not only see you in person but also see the amount of support you have in your community.</li></ul></li></ol>

Can You Apply for a Pardon in Indiana?

The Indiana Legislature has created a body called the Indiana Parole Board, which has the power to make recommendations to the Governor on all pardon applications. The Board is made up of 5 members who are appointed by the Governor and who each serve a 4-year term. No more than 3 of the members can be from the same political party. The Indiana Supreme Court has held that pardon essentially wipes out both the punishment prescribed for the offense and the guilt of the offender.

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CANNOT PARDON IF…

<p><strong>Less than five years from successful sentence completion</strong></p><p>Recent governors have required a 5-year waiting period and evidence of rehabilitation before a pardon can be granted.</p><p><strong>Out-of-State Conviction</strong></p><p>The Governor can only grant a pardon within the state of Indiana.</p><p><strong>Federal Conviction</strong></p><p>The Department of Justice can only grant a pardon for a federal offense</p><p>After you’ve explained the points above, then get into how to apply for pardon in that state.</p>

How to Apply for a Pardon in Indiana

<ol><li>Before you begin this process, we insist that you <a href=”https://www.felonyrecordhub.com/test/expungement”>take this eligibility test</a> to determine if you’re eligible to request a pardon for your record.  In most cases, if you are eligible for expungement on our test, then you’ll be eligible for a pardon.</li><li>If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because requesting a pardon is mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you. </li><li>If you are <u>not</u> eligible based on our test, then you should stop here. </li><li>If you are eligible based on our test and want to do this without a lawyer, continue reading.</li><li>The standardized form is not available online. You must contact the Board directly 317-232-5673 or write to the following address and request the form be sent to you:<br /><br />Indiana Parole Board<br />302 W. Washington St., Rm. E321<br />Indianapolis, IN 46204-2278</li><li>At the top of the form, you will simply check off the box that says “pardon.”</li><li>You should have all of your conviction information available, such as the date you were sentenced, what your sentence was, and where you were confined.<ul><li>If you do not have sufficient information about a particular conviction, you should contact the law enforcement agency that was involved in the case and/or the court where you were convicted for that case. If you do not remember all of your convictions, you will need to obtain your criminal record to refresh your memory. You can do this by contacting the Indiana State Police, Central Repository, at (317) 234-2631, or logging onto its website at <a href=”http://www.in.gov/isp/”>http://www.in.gov/isp/</a>.</li><li>If you have convictions in other states, you can obtain a more comprehensive, nationwide criminal report for yourself from the FBI. You can find out how to do this by calling the FBI’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., at (202) 324-3000, or logging onto its website at http://www.fbi.gov. The FBI’s website also has a list of local FBI offices you can call.</li></ul></li><li><p>You will be required to seek the opinion of the trial judge and prosecutor who was involved in your conviction. There will be a section on the application form for them to fill in. You must get their opinions/statements before sending in your application.</p><ul><li>If the trial judge or prosecutor (or their successors in office) refuses to provide a statement/opinion, then you need to indicate this on the form together with the name and office of the person you contacted.</li><li>If the trial judge or prosecutor (or their successors in office) refuses to provide a statement/opinion, then you need to indicate this on the form together with the name and office of the person you contacted.</li><li>As part of its investigation, the Board may inquire into the opinion of the victim(s) of your crime as well as the opinion of members of the community where the crime occurred. The Board may also require a report on your medical, psychological, and psychiatric condition.- The Board will look into your entire criminal history, as well as your behavior while you were in jail, prison, probation, or parole. It may consider your education history, your age at the time of the offense, your employment history, your relationship to the victim, your economic history, your drug history, your maturity at the time of the hearing, the opinion of friends and family, and practically anything else the Board feels is relevant.</li><li>Above all, the Board will consider whether recommending you for a pardon would be in the best interests of society. You should be upfront and cooperative with the Board and its agents at all times.</li></ul></li><li>Although not required, we highly suggest that you submit, on a separate sheet of paper, a detailed and genuine personal statement explaining why you need a pardon.<ul><li>Your personal statement should be detailed, honest, and grammatically well written.</li><li>Simply saying “I want to have a clean record” is not enough.</li><li>Keep in mind that the Board/Governor will not be retrying you for the offense. Although you may want to explain the facts and circumstances of the crime from your perspective, avoid trying to make excuses for your crime and arguing away your guilt.<ul><li>Whatever you feel about the crime, you had already been found guilty. The Board/Governor is probably more interested in seeing your remorse for the crime, and your understanding of its effects on the victim and society, than anything else.</li></ul></li><li>If it applies to you, explain how you have been passed over for employment opportunities because of your conviction. Explain how this has prevented you from obtaining decent employment to support you and/or your family.</li><li>If you are pursuing a particular career or a license in a particular trade or profession that requires you to obtain a pardon, explain this and send documents, letters, or other types of proof from a prospective employer or licensing agency verifying this requirement. Perhaps explain what your plans are in the event you are granted a pardon.</li><li>Also, if you are facing deportation because of the conviction, explain how being separated from you family will negatively affect you and your family.<ul><li>In your personal statement you should detail all the positive things that have occurred in your life, like educational achievements, a new or steady job,, marriage and children, community involvement, charitable donations, awards and recognitions, etc.</li><li>Send copies of your college transcripts, high school diploma or GED, marriage certificate, children’s birth certificates, military certificates, awards and recognitions, and other documents that show your rehabilitation and positive character.</li></ul></li></ul></li><li><p>Scheduling a Hearing</p><p>If you are eligible for a pardon, it will usually take about four months between the time the Board receives your petition and the time you are scheduled for a hearing where the Board considers your application.</p><ul><li>If you are called in for a hearing/interview, you must not only attend but also look and act your best. Dress in the same way you would if you were going to court for a trial (this means, a suit and tie).</li><li>You will have the option of bringing up to three people to the hearing to testify for you. If so, you will be asked to indicate this on the application. Try to bring your pastor, family, boss, co-worker, or someone in your community who will show their support.</li><li>The hearing/interview is an excellent opportunity to put a human face onto your application; it lets the court not only see you in person but also see the amount of support you have in your community.</li><li>You should also have individuals who know you well write letters of recommendation for you. It is better to choose individuals who are not related to you to avoid the appearance of bias. The writers should indicate in the letter in what capacity they know you and why they think you should be granted a pardon.</li></ul></li><li><p>. After the hearing, the Board will make a recommendation to the Governor whether to grant or deny your application. The Governor then has the final say on whether or not you receive a pardon. Although the Governor is not bound by the Board’s recommendation, the Governor generally follows it.</p><ul><li>You will be notified of the Governor’s decision. The process usually takes six to eight months to complete.</li></ul></li></ol>

So, there you have it.  Three separate ways to get rid of your record in Indiana.  As we’ve said numerous times throughout this page, this is a really complicated process and we highly recommend that you take this eligibility test prior to taking any action to determine if you are eligible for any of these options.

Please note, the information contained here is not legal advice and is strictly informational.  If you have any further questions about the information above, or in general, you need to contact a lawyer directly.

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