Expungement Indiana | HEA 1482 | Courts Released Sample Expungement Petitions
Court officials released sample petitions Friday that residents can use as they petition to have criminal records expunged as HEA 1482 went into effect on July 1, 2013.
There is a warning, in bold print at the top of the form, warning that the expungement procedure is extremely complex and that there are severe consequences if mistakes are made. Petitioners are urged to consult an attorney before submitting the documents, especially if they are seeking to expunge multiple convictions.
The newly developed forms explain Indiana’s new expungement law using a fill-in-the-blank format to help applicants understand what information the expungement petition should contain.
Indiana residents can find the expungement sample forms online at: in.gov/judiciary/2706.htm. In addition to forms for petitioners, there are also sample orders for judges to follow when responding to petitions.
Recently the General Assembly in Indiana approved the expungement law, HEA 1482; the new law is aimed at improving non-violent offenders’ chances of getting a job and wiping their records clean. The new law will shield felony convictions from a background check done by potential employers, however, police are still able to see the conviction.
The new law requires that petitioners have been crime-free for the last five years for misdemeanors and eight years for most felonies (Class D felonies). Some convictions are not eligible for expungement, but those are eligible and approved by the hearing judge will be sealed or removed from court records.
Major felonies will remain public records with a notation that the conviction has been expunged.
Not everyone in Indiana is happy about the new law; Shelby County’s prosecutor Kent Apsley says that he feels the final bill it went far beyond the original intent, “This bill started out as an attempt to give first-time, non-violent offenders a fresh start. From an offender’s standpoint, this law is, obviously, a huge benefit. They can essentially wipe out a whole lifetime of crime,” Apsley said.
Apsley stated that although the measure is now signed into law, he feels that HEA 1482 will be “largely ineffective” because information will still be available via a web search. Interestingly, newspapers and media outlets are not required by HEA 1482 to delete articles about past crimes that have been expunged.