13 Oct 2019 Indiana Expungement Law Update
Indiana Expungement Law 2019 Update
2019 saw some important updates to the Indiana expungement laws for expunging and sealing criminal records. Since the Indiana expungement law was enacted in 2013, the laws have been updated every year, and this year was no exception.
The biggest change in the Indiana expungement law in 2019 was adding a new section that allows petitioners to request expungement and sealing of “collateral actions,” meaning those cases that were directly related to the criminal case. Under the statute, “collateral action” includes petitions for specialized driving privileges and forfeiture actions. This means that if you were convicted of a criminal offence and as a result of that arrest you had to apply for specialized driving privileges or the state brought a forfeiture case, those case records can be ordered expunged and sealed as part of the criminal expungement order.
In addition to including “collateral actions” to the Indiana expungement law, the 2019 expungement amendments also added a section that allows a person who was subject to a protective order to request the records be sealed under certain circumstances. Under the new law, if a person is subject to a protective order that was granted but later terminated due to the case being dismissed after a court hearing, denial of the petition by court order, failure of the plaintiff to appear at the protective order hearing, or the protective order being reversed or vacated by a higher court, they may petition to have the protective order records expunged and sealed. The court shall grant the petition if it can be shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the petition was dismissed due to one of the above reasons. There is also no waiting period to file a petition under this section.
Finally, while a person is only allowed to file one criminal conviction expungement petition in lifetime, the statute was amended to allow a supplemental petition if the law is changed in the future to grant more rights under the code. This means that if you filed a petition in years past and were not able to seal a collateral action at that time, you may be eligible to file a supplemental petition now to include those types of cases.
As you can see, the Indiana expungement law is constantly evolving and changing. If you have questions about filing an expungement petition, Chambers Law Office can help. Managing Attorney Julie Chambers has been preparing and filing expungements petitions for her clients since the law was enacted in 2013 and our attorneys have the experience necessary to handle any type of expungement request throughout the State of Indiana. Call us today to discuss your case!