Expungement of Criminal Records – General – Indiana
1. What is an expungement?
The process of legally destroying, obliterating or striking out records or information in files, computers and other depositories relating to criminal charges.
2. Do the records just “disappear”?
No. The records cannot be accessed for general law enforcement or civil use. Juvenile records may be destroyed or given to the person to whom the records pertain. IC 31-39-8-6. Adult arrest records may be delivered to the individual or the law enforcement may destroy all fingerprints, photographs, or arrest records in their possession. IC 35-38-5-2.
3. What records may be expunged?
In juvenile cases, the court’s files, the files of law enforcement agencies, and the files of any other person who has provided services to a child under a court order- those records pertaining to the person’s involvement in juvenile court proceedings. IC 31-39-8-2.
In adult wrongful arrest cases, fingerprints, photographs, or arrest records in possession of a law enforcement agency may be expunged. IC 35-38-5-2. No information concerning the arrest may be placed or retained in any state central repository for criminal history information or in any other alphabetically arranged criminal history information system maintained by a local, regional, or statewide law enforcement agency. However, expungement does not require any change or alteration in any record (such as a police blotter entry) made at the time of the arrest or in the record of any court in which the criminal charges were filed. IC 35-38-5-3.
For expungement of DNA profiles of criminals, all identifiable information in the Indiana DNA data base relating to a person requesting expungement shall be expunged, and all samples from the person shall be destroyed. IC 10-13-6-18.
4. Who is eligible for an expungement?
1. A person whose criminal charges were not filed or dropped because of no probable cause, mistaken identity, offense not committed. IC 35-38-5.
2. A person whose DNA profile has been included in the Indiana DNA data base and whose conviction on which the authority for inclusion in the Indiana DNA data base was founded has been reversed and the case has been dismissed. IC 10-13-6-18.
3. A person pardoned by the governor. See, STATE v. BERGMAN, 558 N.E.2d 1111 (Ind. App. 1990).
4. Persons charged with juvenile delinquency. IC 31-39-8.
5. How do I get records expunged?
A person who is the subject of an delinquency arrest or a juvenile court proceeding may file a petition for expungement with the court. If the court grants the expungement petition, the court shall order each law enforcement agency and each person who provided treatment for the child under an order of the court to send that person’s records to the court. IC 31-39-8-5.
The petition for expungement of a person wrongfully arrested must be verified and filed in the court in which the charges were filed, or if no criminal charges were filed, in a court with criminal jurisdiction in the county where the arrest occurred. The petition must set forth:
(1) the date of the arrest;
(2) the charge;
(3) the law enforcement agency employing the arresting officer;
(4) any other known identifying information, such as the name of the arresting officer, case number, or court cause number;
(5) the date of the petitioner’s birth; and
(6) the petitioner’s Social Security number.
(c) A copy of the petition shall be served on the law enforcement agency and the state central repository for records.
(d) Upon receipt of a petition for expungement, the law enforcement agency shall notify the court of the name and address of each agency to which any records related to the arrest were forwarded. The clerk shall immediately send a copy of the petition to each of those agencies. Any agency desiring to oppose the expungement shall file a notice of opposition with the court setting forth reasons for resisting the expungement along with any sworn statements from individuals who represent the agency that explain the reasons for resisting the expungement within thirty (30) days after the petition is filed. A copy of the notice of opposition and copies of any sworn statements shall be served on the petitioner. IC 35-38-5
A person seeking to expunge DNA records kmust file a written request for expungement and provide a certified copy of the court order reversing and dismissing the conviction and any other information necessary to ascertain the validity of the request. IC 10-13-6-18