Expungement Wait Time Confusion, Resolved
Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed into law a measure eliminating confusion in the courts and establishing that the waiting period to obtain an expungement begins on the date a felony conviction is entered and does not start anew if that conviction is later reduced to a misdemeanor.
Holcomb’s approval of Senate Enrolled Act 47 comes as the Indiana Supreme Court is considering a case in which a man was denied an expungement after his felony conviction was reduced to a misdemeanor.
Senate Enrolled Act 47, which easily passed both legislative chambers, gives statutory effect to dissent. It provides that the five-year waiting period for an expungement in cases such as Gulzar’s begins on the date of the felony conviction, not the date it was reduced to a misdemeanor conviction.
The Indiana Supreme Court heard oral arguments last month in the case, Naveed Gulzar v. State of Indiana, 19S-XP-673. Gulzar was convicted of Class D felony theft and successfully petitioned to have the conviction reduced to a misdemeanor in 2016.
Gulzar faced a setback, however, when the Elkhart Superior Court denied his expungement petition in 2018, ruling the five-year waiting period had not yet been completed because it began anew in 2016 when the conviction was reduced.
The new law also amends the expungement statutes in several other ways. Among them:
- Companies that provide background checks will be required to periodically review their records and remove those relating to expunged protection orders in the same manner as expunged convictions are removed.
- A person may now expunge protection order records in connection with the denial of an ex parte petition for a protection order.
- Law enforcement, probation and community corrections agencies may inquire about an applicant’s expunged records and are permitted to refuse to employ a person whose records have been expunged.
- Specifies the procedure to expunge records of a collateral action entered in a different county than the county that issued the expungement order.
The full Indiana Lawyer article, here.
The State of Indiana has recognized the severe, long-lasting, effect an arrest record or a conviction record may have on a person’s life, and they have provided some limited relief with the Expungement Statute. The Expungement Statute is a fairly new law, being enacted in 2014. Under the expungement Statute arrests, misdemeanor convictions, and D-felony or level 6-felony convictions may be eligible for expungement. Major Felony convictions may also be expunged, although, for major felony cases, the relief is so insignificant that we rarely recommend seeking it.
Experienced Attorneys at Rigney Law LLC
The attorneys and staff at Rigney Law LLC have the skill, knowledge, and experience to handle any expungement case. What’s more, we will meet with you to review your matter and determine your eligibility before we charge you any money. Both Jake and Kassi, while located in Indianapolis Marion County, will travel anywhere in the State of Indiana to help you seek an expungement of your criminal record. If you want to expunge your criminal history, but you don’t know where to start, consider calling Rigney Law LLC today at 317.430.7370.