In 2013, Indiana passed the Indiana Expungement Law which prohibits the unlawful discrimination by any person because of an individual’s conviction or arrest record that has been expunged or sealed by the state. Indiana Code section 35-38-9-10(b). Further, the Indiana Expungement Law, also known as the Second Chance Act, states that a person whose record is expunged shall be treated as if the person had never been convicted of the offense. Broadly, this is just one of many benefits of expunging your Indiana criminal arrest record. Below are several other things to consider when determining if an expungement is right for you.
From clearing your reputation to providing for your family, there are many benefits to expunging your criminal record.
- Stigma. When an individual is convicted of a crime, it is often they get labeled as an “ex-con” or felon. The stigma of that conviction may be attached to other aspects of their life, thus making it more difficult go about normal life tasks without being discriminated against.
- Employment. A criminal record might prevent an individual from obtaining certain types of employment. In some cases, employers may automatically exclude anyone convicted of a felony, while others may pick an applicant with a clean record over someone with even a minor conviction.
- Housing. Having a criminal record may exclude an individual from both public and private housing. Many landlords request a criminal background check on tenants and depending on the property management’s qualifications, a conviction or even a record of criminal charges may be cause for an application to be denied.
- Education. A criminal record may have a negative impact on getting admitted into a higher education institution, vocational, or technical school. If a conviction is deemed more than a minor conviction, the school may deny your application if it goes against their school policies. Further, if a school does choose to admit an individual with a criminal record, that individual may be excluded from securing grants or loans to finance their education.
- Auto Insurance. Many auto insurance companies measure their customers on a risk-based basis. If someone’s criminal record includes convictions such as a DUI or a person is deemed a habitual traffic violator, an insurance company may enter that person into a higher risk class, making their car insurance significantly more expensive or preventing them from obtaining insurance altogether.
- Volunteering. Typically, all programs that involve working with children require volunteers to have a clean criminal record; however, many private organizations will require a criminal background check for their volunteers and can deny volunteers based on any type of conviction they may have. This can impact your ability to volunteer at your child’s school functions such as field trips.
- Restoration of Gun Rights. Firearm rights are governed by both federal and Indiana law; however, federal law holds that a conviction that has been expunged cannot be considered a conviction for purposes of denying rights under federal law. The federal government has considered Indiana’s Expungement Law and has deemed it sufficient in removing the federal firearms prohibition in the Gun Control Act.
- Restoration of Voting Rights. If convicted of a felony, an Indiana expungement can also restore the right to vote, right to serve as a juror, and right to run for public office.
- Adoption. In every adoption, all former convictions will be considered when a social worker and/or court determines whether an individual is eligible to adopt.
- Federal Assistance. If an individual needs subsidized or low-rent housing or food stamps, a criminal record may be grounds for denial of those services.
The Indiana Expungement Law outlines the requirements for which convictions can be expunged and the necessary qualifications to get those convictions expunged. To learn more about the process of expunging your criminal record, contact McNeely Law today at (317) 825-5510 to talk to an experienced Indiana expungement attorney who can help you navigate your case.
This McNeely Law LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general information purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.