On May 6, 2013, Governor Mike Pence signed House Bill 1482 into law. The new law will effect both criminal record sealing and eligibility for expungement, and also clarifies whether or not expunged convictions can be considered by employers during the hiring process.
When House Bill 1482 goes into effect as law it will require that courts seal the arrest record of an individual that was arrested but not prosecuted, or whose conviction was overturned on appeal. The previous law allowed for the sealing of the arrest records through criminal justice agencies and controlled the dissemination of the records to non-criminal justice agencies, but did not allow for the sealing of the court records.
The new law will also allow for certain misdemeanor convictions and a broader range of class D felonies to be eligible for exungement. The law sets out certain guidelines that must be met before an individual becomes eligible for expungement. The law requires that a civil filing fee be paid to the court, and the court must have the consent of the prosecutor to expunge the most serious of eligible felonies. There is a five-year waiting period that must be met before a misdemeanor conviction is eligible for expungement, an eight-year waiting period for serious felonies, and a ten-year waiting period for the most serious of felonies. The law prohibits the expungement of all violent offenses and sex offenses.
In addition to eligibility, the new law addresses the issue of expunged convictions and their effect on employment opportunities. It allows for those who are questioned about a previous conviction for employment or other certain purposes to truthfully answer that they have not been convicted of a crime. Expunged convictions are no longer admissible determining factors to consider for hiring, admission, or licensing purposes.
Governor Pence supports the new law wholeheartedly, and was quoted stating that the new law "will give a second chance to those who strive to re-enter society and become productive, law-abiding citizens." He believes that the goal of the law is to make Indiana the best state to grow and be given a second chance in once an individual has completed their sentence and proven that they have been rehabilitated.
The Bill is set to go into effect on July 1, 2013.