The expungement of a criminal record is a process that is not available to everyone.
However, if you can claim eligibility, what happens next? Once expungement takes place, is it still possible for someone to gain access to your record?
You must meet certain criteria for the expungement consideration:
- The expungement process must be within the guidelines set forth under Indiana law
- The court dismissed the criminal proceedings against you, or you were found not guilty or acquitted following a trial
- You met all waiting periods before petitioning for expungement
- You have paid any fines or restitution in full
- You have completed all community service or diversion programs
- You have completed probation
Once you confirm your eligibility for expungement, you must complete a standard petition form, then file the petition along with a fee in the court where your conviction took place. The court will forward a copy of your petition to the prosecution, and you will await a hearing on your eligibility for expungement. At this point, the court will either approve or deny your petition.
If the state of Indiana does not destroy your expunged record but keeps it in a sealed state, your record will only be accessible to government agencies if a new offense should occur. Among these agencies are the FBI, the federal immigration department and state law enforcement. Your record would also be accessible if you apply for a high-security occupation.
You can rely on legal guidance if you seek expungement. Success in this endeavor means you can enter the next stage of your life with confidence. You can apply for a new job or a mortgage and truthfully answer “no” if someone asks if you have a criminal history.