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Indiana Expungement of Arrest Records FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

This page was designed to help our clients better understand our Indiana Expungement of Arrest Records service. You will find answers to the questions we are most frequently asked. If your question is related to eligibility requirements please take the free online eligibility test.



What is the difference between expungement and sealing?

Indiana offers two possible options for arrest record relief depending on the circumstances of your arrest.

To be eligible for expungement, your arrest must not have lead to charges being filed against you, or the charges must have been dropped due to mistaken identity, the court must have found that no offense was in fact committed, or there must be an absence of probable cause for the arrest. Having your arrest record expunged means that your fingerprints, photographs, and arrest records are not available to the public and no information concerning the arrest can be retained in the statute repository for criminal history information. (IC 35-38-5-3)

To be eligible to seal your arrest, your arrest must not have resulted in a conviction, or if it did result in a conviction, it must have been vacated upon appeal. Having your arrest record sealed means that the court has ordered that your arrest record is sealed so that only a criminal justice agency will have access to the records. (IC 35-38-9)

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Will the arrest records still show up on my background check?

No. If your arrest record is expunged, your fingerprints, photographs, and arrest records are not available to the public and no information concerning the arrest can be retained in the statute repository for criminal history information. (IC 35-38-5-3)

If your arrest is sealed, then the court's files, the files of the department of corrections, the files of the bureau of motor vehicles, and any other person in possession of your record who provided treatment or services to you under court order, and the central repository for criminal history information maintained by the state police department will be ordered by the court to seal the records. Only criminal justice agencies will have access to your record without a court order. (IC 35-38-9)

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Do I ever have to disclose my arrest record?

You do not have to disclose your arrest record and can answer with confidence to any inquiry or to an application for employment that you have not been arrested.

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Do I need to hire an attorney or can I proceed with the expungement on my own?

You have an attorney to (1) make sure the process is done right the first time so your case does not get rejected or cost you months of delay (2) handle objections from the district attorney (3) send an attorney to court to argue the case if need be and (4) write letters to potential employers letting them know that the case has been reopened and that you will soon have the arrest off of your record.

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Do I have to go to court?

No, we go for you. If the court requests your presence and you are unable to attend, then we will request for your presence to be excused.

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Where is my case filed?

A petition for expungement of arrest records can either be filed in the court where charges were brought, or if no charges were filed, in the court that has jurisdiction in the county where the arrest occurred. (IC 35-38-5-1(b))

A petition to seal arrest records is filed in the sentencing court if the person was sentenced, in the court in which the person was charged if the person was charged, or in any court that exercises criminal jurisdiction in Indiana if the person was not charged or convicted. (IC 35-38-9)

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How long does the process take?

Typically, the case takes about four to six months. We base our estimates of how long a case will take on how long the average is for that service in that state. However, some cases can take less or more time depending on the facts of the case, whether the DA is agreeing or objecting, the age of the case, etc. We work on our case as fast as we can and assist the court and DA in anything they need to get your case heard and decided.

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Can the process be done faster?

The courts work on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, the sooner you sign up, the sooner your case is heard and decided. If helpful, we will gladly write your employer or potential employer a letter letting them know we have reopened the case and are in the process of having it expunged.

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Does my disposition of guilty or no contest matter?

Yes, you cannot expunge a case where you pled guilty or no contest. Please take the free online eligibility test to see if you are eligible for any other service.

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What are the details of the guarantee?

If we are unable to succeed on your case, we have a money back guarantee for certain services. Please view the pricing for details regarding the money back guarantee.

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Do you have payment plans?

We can create a payment plan that meets your needs. Please view the pricing for details regarding the payment plans.

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What if I don’t know exactly what is on my record?

We will be glad to work with you to get a copy of your record and to review what can be done. We charge a researching fee that we will then apply to the cost of any service that you then hire us to perform.

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What if I have multiple cases?

Expungements and sealings must be filed and completed per case. Therefore, we charge per arrest and the number of counts in each case does not matter. If, however, you sign up for multiple cases, then we discount the additional cases.

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What happens after my arrest is expunged or sealed?

You will receive a court order signed by the judge. The law enforcement agency has 30 days from the date of receipt of the court order to destroy the fingerprints, photographs, or arrest records or to deliver the documents to the individual that is the subject of the records. (IC 35-38-5-2)

If your arrest record is sealed, then the court will order that the disclosure of the records be restricted to the public. Only criminal justice agencies will have access to the records. (IC 35-38-9)

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How do the agencies know the expungement was granted?

The court will send the granted order to the Indiana State Police and arresting agency.

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How long do records take to be updated?

The Indiana State Police and arresting agency have up to 30 days to update their records upon receipt of the order.

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What is the main reason that a request for expungement or sealing is denied?

Cases are denied for the following reasons: (1) an inaccuracy in the court file, (2) an inaccuracy in the application, (3) additional charges are pending.

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What if my case is denied?

A case is usually denied because of (1) an inaccuracy in the court file, (2) an inaccuracy in the application, (3) additional charges are pending, or (4) the individual has a history of arrests other than minor traffic offenses. (IC35-38-5-1(f))

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Will my record prohibit me from visiting Canada?

If you have been convicted of minor offenses (including assault, dangerous driving, DUI, theft, shoplifting, unauthorized possession of firearms, possession of illegal substances, etc.) or indictable criminal offenses (including assault with a deadly weapon, manslaughter, etc.) you may be prohibited from entrance into Canada and further action will be required to find out whether you will be allowed entrance. The Canadian government has entered into an information sharing agreement with the United States, so the Canadian government will have whatever information the United States has on file. Therefore, the first thing you should do is clear your criminal record to the fullest extent possible before submitting to a background check. The benefit of setting aside will show the Canadian government that the matter was resolved and no longer considered a conviction and improve the odds of not being denied entry to Canada or being stuck at the border for lengthy interrogation.

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Can I get a Sentri pass?

The Border Patrol has discretion in granting or denying Sentri passes. So, the only thing we can say for sure is that it would help; investing in record clearing before applying for a pass would be advantageous. A modest investment in getting a set aside could be the difference between having your request accepted or denied. The set aside will show that you have resolved all matters with the court.

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Can I vote after the expungement is granted?

In order to be eligible for this service you cannot be convicted. Since you were not convicted you should not have lost that right due to this case.

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Will getting an expungement help with immigration?

Criminal violations may have severe consequences for immigrants, even if the crime is expunged/vacated/sealed. Even minor offenses such as petty theft can make someone deportable or inadmissible, while more serious offenses such as burglary may not have the same consequences. Since each case is unique, getting a case-by-case analysis tailored to your specific facts, is vital. To find out if your criminal conviction will impact your immigration case it is imperative you contact a qualified immigration attorney. Our in-house immigration attorney is available to answer questions at 714-617-8395.

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Can I clear my federal conviction?

You can only expunge certain cases. Typically, you have to show that the conviction was wrongful or unconstitutional. Additionally, a person can apply for a pardon through the President. We do not handle federal cases.

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Will this restore my right to own a firearm?

In order to be eligible for this service you cannot be convicted. Since you were not convicted you should not have lost that right due to this case.

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Who can serve on a jury in Indiana?

In Indiana, you may serve on a jury if you 1) are a United States citizen, 2) are at least eighteen years of age, 3) are a resident of the summoning county, 4) are able to read, speak, and understand the English language, 5) are not suffering from a physical or mental disability that would prevent you from satisfactorily carrying out the duties of a juror, 6) are not under a guardianship appointment because of mental incapacity, 7) are not a person who has had your rights revoked due to a felony conviction, unless your rights have been restored, 8) are not a law enforcement officer if the trial is for a criminal case.

http://www.in.gov/judiciary/rules/jury/ http://www.nacdl.org/uploadedFiles/files/resourcecenter/2012restorationproject/statenarr_in.pdf

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The first step towards a better life begins with finding out if you are eligible for Indiana Expungement of Arrest Records.



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SERVING ALL OF INDIANA

Call us at 317-682-1657 or Toll Free (877) 573-7273
Please take the free online eligibility test before calling.

Law Firm of Higbee & Associates
450 E. 96th Street, Suite 500
Indianapolis, IN. 46240
*By Appointment Only

We handle cases in Adams, Allen, Bartholomew, Benton, Blackford, Boone, Brown, Carroll, Cass, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, Daviess, De Kalb, Dearborn, Decatur, Delaware, Dubois, Elkhart, Fayette, Floyd, Fountain, Franklin, Fulton, Gibson, Grant, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Harrison, Hendricks, Henry, Howard, Huntington, Jackson, Jasper, Jay, Jefferson, Jennings, Johnson, Knox, Kosciusko, La Porte, Lagrange, Lake, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Martin, Miami, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Newton, Noble, Ohio, Orange, Owen, Parke, Perry, Pike, Porter, Posey, Pulaski, Putnam, Randolph, Ripley, Rush, Scott, Shelby, Spencer, St Joseph, Starke, Steuben, Sullivan, Switzerland, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Union, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo, Wabash, Warren, Warrick, Washington, Wayne, Wells, White and Whitley counties.