Do you have an old Indiana conviction that you dread revealing to potential employers? Under Indiana’s new “Second Chance Act”, you may no longer have to tell anyone and employers may not be allowed to find out!
In an August article, we discussed how Indiana’s new expungement statute could help criminal defense attorneys plan ahead and negotiate for your conviction to be vacated. However, that doesn’t help those who have old convictions. The better news for those individuals is that a new “Second Chance Act” allows records of nonviolent, non-sexual misdemeanors and Class D felonies older than eight years to be hidden from all but criminal justice agencies.
IC 35-38-8-4 allows sealing of records so long as the following four conditions are met:
(1) the person is: (A) not a sex or violent offender; or (B) a sex or violent offender, but the offender’s status as a sex or violent offender is solely due to the offender’s conviction for sexual misconduct with a minor (IC 35-42-4-9) and the offender proved that the defense described in IC 35-42-4-9(e) applies to the offender;
(2) the person was: (A) convicted of a misdemeanor or a Class D felony that did not result in injury to a person; or (B) adjudicated a delinquent child for committing an offense that, if committed by an adult, would be a misdemeanor or Class D felony not resulting in injury to a person;
(3) eight (8) years have passed since the person completed the person’s sentence and satisfied any other obligation imposed on the person as part of the sentence; and
(4) the person has not been convicted of a felony since the person completed the person’s sentence and satisfied any other obligation imposed on the person as part of the sentence.
So if you meet these conditions, then a court can order the State Police to restrict access to your records from everyone but criminal justice agencies. The statute also allows you to legally deny that you have ever had such a conviction. Specifically: “If a court orders a person’s records to be restricted under this chapter, the person may legally state on an application for employment or any other document that the person has not been arrested for or convicted of the felony or misdemeanor recorded in the restricted records.” (From Section 7 of IC 35-38-8-4).
So if an old conviction is still haunting you then we at SFT Lawyers may be able to help!