Indiana Law Update:
Around 300 new laws went into effect in Indiana on July 1, 2013. Many were part of the state legislature's substantial revamping of Indiana's criminal law. The right column contains a link to an article surveying the changes. Here is what the article said about House Enrolled Act 1482, Public Law 159-2013, Indiana Code 35-38-9 pertaining to expunging and sealing criminal records:
H.E.A. 1482, P.L. 159-2013
Effective July 1, 2013
Allows a court to enter judgment of conviction as a Class D felony with the express provision that the conviction will be converted to a conviction as a Class A misdemeanor if the defendant fulfills certain conditions. Requires a court to seal the arrest records of a person who was arrested but not prosecuted or whose conviction was overturned on appeal. Provides that a court shall expunge records concerning misdemeanor convictions and minor Class D felony convictions under certain circumstances, and that a court may expunge records concerning certain more serious felony convictions. Specifies that misdemeanor and minor Class D felony records ordered expunged by the court are removed or sealed, and that more serious felony records ordered expunged are marked as expunged but remain public records. Permits a law enforcement officer to have access to certain expunged records without a court order. Establishes a procedure to expunge records, and requires payment of the civil filing fee to petition to expunge a conviction. Provides that a person may file a petition to expunge more than one conviction, and provides that a person may only petition for expungement once in the person’s lifetime. Provides that a petition to expunge a conviction may be filed not earlier than: (1) five years from the date of conviction, in the case of a misdemeanor; (2) eight years from the date of conviction in the case of minor Class D felonies; (3) eight years from the date the sentence is completed in the case of more serious felonies; and (4) ten years from the date the sentence is completed in the case of the most serious felonies. Requires consent of the prosecutor to petition for expungement of the most serious felonies, and prohibits granting expungement in the case of sex and violent offenders and persons convicted of specified serious crimes. Provides that the civil rights of a person whose records are expunged are restored, and requires a person questioned about a previous conviction for employment or other certain other purposes be asked about the previous conviction in a form such as “Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime that has not been expunged by a court?” Specifies that an expunged conviction is not admissible in an action for negligent hiring, admission, or licensure. Repeals superseded provisions concerning expungement and restricted disclosure of records. This legislation applies to juvenile adjudications.
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