If you’ve been in the unfortunate position of receiving a criminal conviction, you’ll want to know as much as you can about expungement. Expungement is a legal proceeding that you can use to clear a criminal record. Clearing your criminal record isn’t always easy, but it can be done and can make a huge difference in your life. A clean criminal record can make the difference in whether or not you get the job you want or the loan you need to buy a house or car, and other areas of your life you may not have even considered. If you don’t want one mistake to haunt you for the rest of your life, you should learn everything possible about expunging a criminal record.
What Exactly Is Expungement?
The law recognizes that a first offense, even a felony, may not always be indicative of a person’s character. Even if convicted, there can be extenuating circumstances that a judge may take into consideration. In a successful expungement proceeding, the criminal record is sealed or destroyed, so it is for all intents and purposes as if it never existed, effectively giving the subject a clear arrest record.
Who Qualifies for Expungement?
The qualifications for expungement vary from state to state, but usually require an intervening period of probation where no further crimes have been committed, a single or minimal number of offenses, a low level of severity to the offense, and that the crime does not fit into certain special categories, such as rape, child pornography, and other sex crimes and crimes against minors.
Benefits of Expungement
In addition to the psychological relief, an expungement in Indiana can provide, there are some very real physical benefits. You may find it easier to get a job, rent an apartment, or buy a car. You may have rights such as the right to vote and bear arms returned to you. You can live with the confidence that your past is unlikely to be “dug up” by those looking to use information against you. All that aside, many people find that the peace of mind of starting with a clean slate is easily worth the cost.