The Indiana Second Chance Law: How to Clear Your Indiana Arrest Record

Before the Indiana Second Chance Law took effect, expungement of arrest records was limited to cases of mistaken identity or arrests made without probable cause. The state’s expungement law now allows you to clear your Indiana arrest record in a broader range of circumstances. Removing arrests from your criminal record opens new doors of opportunity—from employment options to housing and more.

What should your first step be if you think you might be eligible for expungement of arrest records? Reach out to experienced expungement lawyers in Indiana who can help you evaluate your rights and file the appropriate documents.

What You Need to Know about the Indiana Second Chance Law

Image of a pair of handcuffs with one side open, representing the freedom you can regain by taking advantage of the opportunity to expunge arrest records under the Indiana Second Chance Law.

Indiana’s expungement statute, commonly called the Indiana Second Chance Law, sets forth the offenses—or records—that are eligible for expungement. The law also outlines the record-keeping requirements when an arrest or charge is expunged, designates the timeframe for filing, and details the process and information to be included in a petition for expungement in Indiana.

If you meet the statutory requirements, your chance of being granted an expungement of your arrest records is good. However, filing mistakes and other missteps could cause your petition to be denied. Don’t take chances on your future; consult with a Noblesville, Indiana criminal attorney at Dollard Evans Whalin LLP to ensure that your request for expungement is timely and properly executed.

Expungement of Arrests under the Indiana Second Chance Law

Indiana Code § 35-38-9-1 governs the specifics of expungement in Indiana under the following circumstances:

  • The charges against you were dismissed;
  • The case did not ultimately result in a conviction or juvenile delinquency adjudication;
  • A conviction or juvenile delinquency adjudication was expunged under Indiana Code §§ 35-38-9-2 through 35-38-9-5; or
  • A conviction was vacated.

By these standards, an individual who was placed in the county’s diversion program might also qualify for expungement of arrest records.

If you think you might qualify for expungement, it is worth taking the time to talk to expungement lawyers in Indiana to determine your rights under the law. 

What Does It Mean to Clear Your Indiana Arrest Record?

If your petition for expungement is approved, the public records of the arrest are permanently removed, sealed, or redacted. This includes, when applicable, records created and kept by the court that issued your sentence, any courts that handled collateral actions, juvenile courts, appeals courts, and the Indiana Supreme Court.

However, some internal records are not included in expungement. These include internal law enforcement and public defender records, internal records related to diversion or deferral programs, and other records that are non-public. Information regarding disciplinary actions related to licensing and certifications is also excluded from expungement.

How Long Do You Have to Wait to Get Your Record Expunged in Indiana?

This is one of the most pressing questions for many people when it comes to expungement: how long do you have to wait to get your record expunged in Indiana?

The timeframe to petition for expungement in Indiana varies for different criminal offenses and convictions, but, for most cases of arrest or adjudication, the law only requires you to wait one year to file. In some cases, the prosecuting attorney might issue consent for you to file your petition for expungement sooner.

How Expungement Lawyers in Indiana Can Help

When filing to clear your Indiana arrest record, you must follow a specified procedure and include certain detailed information. The petition must be filed with the appropriate court in the county where your arrest was made or charges were filed against you.

There is no filing fee for Indiana arrest expungement petitions, and the law does not require you to have assistance from expungement lawyers in Indiana when you file. However, the weight of the situation requires careful consideration. The knowledge and guidance of an experienced attorney can make the difference between a petition being granted or denied.

You can trust that a Noblesville, Indiana criminal attorney from Dollard Evans Whalin LLP will provide solid legal counsel, help you file any actions properly, and generally put your interests and well-being first. Our office has been successful in assisting clients in obtaining an expungement of arrest records up to and including for Class B felony arrests. If you believe you are eligible for expungement of arrest records under the Indiana Second Chance law, contact our office today by calling (317) 770-7070 or completing our online contact form.