Understanding Indiana’s Second Chance record-sealing law

On Behalf of | Oct 23, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

When you have an Indiana criminal record, you may find that it interferes with your ability to find a job, secure housing or otherwise live your life as you would like. Depending on circumstances, you may be able to find some relief under the state’s Second Chance law.

According to Indy.gov, the Second Chance law does not erase your criminal record. However, it does prevent potential employers, individuals and other non-criminal-justice entities from viewing its contents. Courts and other criminal justice agencies retain access to your record. However, it should no longer keep you from getting jobs, finding housing and so on. Whether you are eligible to have your record sealed under the Second Chance law depends on whether your situation meets specific eligibility requirements.

Eligibility requirements with a misdemeanor conviction

If five years have passed since your misdemeanor conviction and you have no pending charges, You may be able to petition to have your record sealed. However, you must also have no pending or current license suspensions and no additional convictions within that period. You must also have completed all terms of your sentence and release.

Eligibility requirements with a non-violent felony conviction

If your conviction was for a non-violent felony, you may be able to pursue a record restriction under Indiana’s Second Chance law if eight years have passed since the conviction. Your situation also must meet all the criteria outlined above for restricting access to misdemeanor convictions. The main difference between having your record sealed after a misdemeanor and doing it after a felony is the waiting period.