The Indiana Expungement Law that went into effect in 2012 has had many changes. Indiana expungement for conviction is set forth in Indiana Code I.C. 35-38-9, and arrest records under 35-38-9-1. Expungement of a conviction may help you in your next application for employment, obtain firearms rights, assist with professional licensing, and many other things.

What offenses, arrests, and convictions are Eligible for Expungement in Indiana?

Expungement of Arrest Records 

Indiana Law now allows expungements of arrests. Prior to the change in law, expungement of arrest records were limited to situations like mistaken identity or where no probable cause ever existed at the time of the arrest.  However, Indiana’s Expungement law now allows expungement of arrest records in any case of dismissal, or as long as the case did not ultimately result in a conviction.

Arrests are also eligible for expungement if a conviction was vacated on appeal.   This could even mean in a situation where an individual was placed onto the diversion program.

The law does require at least one year having passed since the arrest, if a party was not convicted, or one year after the date of an appellate opinion vacating the conviction, unless the prosecutor has agreed in writing to a shorter period of time. In fact, the law states specifically that not earlier than one (1) year after the date of arrest, criminal charge, or juvenile delinquency allegation (whichever is later), if the person was not convicted or adjudicated a delinquent child, or the date of the opinion vacating the conviction or adjudication becomes final (unless the prosecuting attorney agrees in writing to an earlier time), the person may petition the court for expungement of the records related to the arrest, criminal charge, or juvenile delinquency allegation.

A petition for expungement of arrest records requires the following information:  (1) the date of the arrest, criminal charges, or juvenile delinquency allegation, and conviction (if applicable); (2) the county in which the arrest occurred, the county in which the information or indictment was filed, and the county in which the juvenile delinquency allegation was filed, if applicable;(3) the law enforcement agency employing the arresting officer, if known;(4) the court in which the criminal charges or juvenile delinquency allegation was filed, if applicable;(5) any other known identifying information, such as:(A) the name of the arresting officer;(B) case number or court cause number; (C) any aliases or other names used by the person; (D) the person’s driver’s license number; and (E) a list of each criminal charge and its disposition, if applicable; (6) the date of  birth; and (7) the person’s Social Security number.

Expungement of Conviction Records for Misdemeanors or Class D Felony (Or Level 6) Convictions Reduced to Misdemeanors

What Information Must be Provided?

Indiana’s Expungement law requires an individual petitioning for an expungement of a conviction in an Indiana Court to prove the statutory elements and do so by a “preponderance of the evidence”. For expungement of a misdemeanor offense or a Class D (or level 6) felony conviction one must show the following things: (1) The petitioner’s full name and all other legal names or aliases by which the petitioner is or has been known;  (2) The petitioner’s date of birth; (3) The petitioner’s addresses from the date of the offense to the date of the petition; (4) The case number or court cause number, if available; (5) The petitioner shall affirm that no criminal investigation or charges are pending against the petitioner.; (6) The petitioner shall affirm that the petitioner has not committed another crime within the period required for expungement;(7) The petitioner shall list all convictions, the cause number of each conviction, if known, the date of the conviction, and any appeals from the conviction and the date any appellate opinion was handed down, if applicable.

Other Information that Must be Provided in the Petition

Other information will have to be included in the petition such:

  • the petitioner’s Social Security number
  • an affirmation that the required period has elapsed since the date of conviction or written consent to a shorter period by the Prosecuting Attorney
  • an explanation of any other petitions filed for expungement, and
  • consent of prosecutor, if necessary.

Other evidence we often include is proof of payment of the Court Costs and Restitution (either through receipts or a copy of the chronological case summary), copies of other criminal history, copies of driving records, letters of recommendation, and any other information we might think be pertinent for your case.

How Long Does the Expungement Process Take?

Once a petition is filed, the prosecutor will generally have 30 days to respond to the petition for expungement.  However, in some situations, that time may vary. If certain requirements are met, and procedural issues are followed, you are likely eligible for expungement.

The Deadlines for Filing a Petition for Expungement

It is important to realize that your ability to file for a Petition for Expungement of convictions is limited by statute, and that if important procedural rules are not followed a petition can be denied, and/or subject to dismissal. Our attorneys are extremely experienced with Indiana’s Expungement Statute, and are able to advise you regarding Petitions for Expungement and are happy to discuss your eligibility for an expungement.

Expungement of Conviction Records for Felonies

Even if you are convicted of a Felony (not reduced to a Misdemeanor), you may still be eligible to petition the Court for an expungement of your convictions. Unlike the misdemeanor expungement petitions, a trial Court will have more discretion in determining whether it will grant an expungement petition for some felonies.

That is why it’s important to have an attorney who is experienced in filing expungement petitions, and arguing them in Court.  Our attorneys are experienced with expungement petitions, and know that some cases are more likely to be granted by one judge than another.

Expungement Waiting Periods

Other changes from a felony expungement to a misdemeanor include the waiting period which goes up to eight (8) years from the conviction (however a Prosecuting Attorney may agree to less time), and no other convictions could have occurred in the past eight (8) years.

Additionally, there are various crimes that are automatic disqualifiers.  These disqualifiers are things like: (1) An elected official convicted of an offense while serving the official’s term or as a candidate for public office, (2) A sex or violent offender (as defined in IC 11-8-8-5), (3) A person convicted of a felony that resulted in serious bodily injury to another person, (4) A person convicted of official misconduct (IC 35-44.1-1-1), (5) A person convicted of an offense described in: (A) IC 35-42-1; (B) IC 35-42-3.5; or (C) IC 35-42-4, and (6) A person convicted of two (2) or more felony offenses that: (A) involved the unlawful use of a deadly weapon; and (B) were not committed as part of the same episode of criminal conduct.

These types of offenses are very case specific and require additional information. If you would like to discuss a Petition for Expungement in more depth, please contact our office to discuss today.


Indiana’s Expungement Law (commonly known as the Second Chance Law) is providing a necessary mechanism for individuals who may have made an unfortunate mistake at one point in their life, but have taken the steps to correct their course, and done the things they needed to do to make them productive members of our society.

Now,  one criminal episode does not have to dictate the rest of a person’s life.

Expungements are very often from convictions as a result of various occurrences that may have occurred in early adulthood or college, and may have had an impact on jobs early on.  Thanks to Indiana’s Expungement Law, that can change.   In fact, thanks to Indiana’s Expungement law b) It is unlawful discrimination for any person to: (1) suspend; (2) expel; (3) refuse to employ; (4) refuse to admit; (5) refuse to grant or renew a license, permit, or certificate necessary to engage in any activity, occupation, or profession; or (6) otherwise discriminate against; any person because of a conviction or arrest record expunged or sealed under this chapter.

Further,Indiana expungement law provides in any application for employment, a license, or other right or privilege, a person may be questioned about a previous criminal record only in terms that exclude expunged convictions or arrests, such as: “Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime that has not been expunged by a court?”

Additionally the civil rights of a person whose conviction has been expunged shall be fully restored, including the right to vote, to hold public office, to be a proper person under IC 35-47-1-7(2), and to serve as a juror.

We have filed Petitions for Expungement in several Indiana counties, and are willing to file them in any county in the State of Indiana.  

If you have been wondering whether you are eligible for an expungement and want to know if we can assist you with your expungement, please call the office of Dollard & Whalin at (317) 854-5877 for your free initial consultation to determine whether you are eligible for an expungement.

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