South Bend / Mishawaka, IN – Having a criminal record could affect job and education opportunities. Indiana law now prohibits employers from asking job and/or licensure candidates generally if they have been convicted of a crime. Instead, employers may only inquire into whether a person has been convicted of a crime which has not been expunged. Upon an entry of a court order granting expungement, a person who had previously been convicted may honestly answer “no.”

A person may file a petition to expunge criminal and/or arrest records after the passing of an enumerated time period following arrest or conviction as follows:

Arrest (not resulting in conviction)At least one (1) year from the date of arrest or criminal charge 
Misdemeanor (including Class D or Level 6 felony reduced to misdemeanor)At least five (5) years from the date of conviction 
Class D or Level 6 FelonyAt least eight (8) years from the date of conviction 
Other Felonies (with exceptions)At least eight (8) years from the date of conviction or three (3) years after completion of the sentence 
Felony that resulted in serious bodily injury to another personAt least ten (10) years from the date of conviction or five (5) years after completion of the sentence

If a court orders expungement of a misdemeanor or Class D/Level 6 felony, it will order various entities to seal their records regarding that person’s conviction(s) including:

  • The department of corrections;
  • The bureau of motor vehicles;
  • The law enforcement agency who incarcerated the individual; and
  • The central repository for criminal history information maintained by the state police department.

The records can only be released to certain entities under certain circumstances enumerated in the statute.

Upon the entry of an order granting expungement, an individual’s civil rights get fully restored, including the rights to:

  • Vote
  • Hold public office
  • Serve as a juror

It also becomes unlawful for a person to suspend, expel, refuse to employ, refuse to admit, refuse to grant or renew a license to engage in any activity or profession, or otherwise discriminate against a person because of an arrest or conviction which has been expunged or sealed.

The content of this article is for informational purposes only, and does not contain, nor should be construed as containing, legal advice.