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Indiana Expungement Laws

A favorite device of Hollywood screenwriters is to frame an innocent person for a crime they didn't commit. This person then must spend the rest of the movie running from the law while trying to prove their innocence. It worked in "North By Northwest" and the "Fugitive" just to name a few. The movies are one thing, but what happens if you are arrested because of mistaken identity in real life? This incident might not even make it to the courts once it has all been straightened out at the police station, but the harsh reality is that you will now have an arrest record. This is also a public record that anyone can access. If an incident like this occurred in Indiana, you have the right to seek an expungement of your arrest record. When that is granted, you can, without lying, state that there is no record of any arrest.

Indiana expungement laws also allow for a defendant to file for a petition if the case is dropped or they were ultimately found to be innocent of the charges. A person can also petition to have their criminal records sealed. This means that the arrest is still on "the books," but you would need a court order to review the documents. With an expungement, the actual documents are turned over to the person who filed the petition. These records can include the fingerprints, the court transcripts, the mug shots and the original arrest reports. When an expungement is granted by the Indiana courts, the clerk has 30 days to compile to the order and either destroy or hand over the documents.

In order to prepare a filing for an Indiana expungement you will need the date of the arrest, the specific charge, the name of your arresting officer and all the dates pertaining to the incident as well as your own personal information. That might seem easy to compile, but filing papers with the courts can sometimes be complicated with regard to where and when a petition can be entered. That is why it is always best to hire a lawyer who has experience with Indiana expungement laws. They will be in the best position to navigate through the court system and get your arrest records expunged in the least amount of time. A good lawyer will also be able to tell you what expungement options you might have even with a conviction for a minor crime.

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