Expungement is the legal destruction of arrest and criminal records from all files and computer databases. Even as these files are destroyed it does not mean that they have completely disappeared. The expunged records cannot be accessed by the public for civil use or for general law enforcement. In the case of juvenile records the destroyed records are given to the individual to whom they belong. Photographs, fingerprints, and arrest records may be destroyed by the law enforcement agencies or returned to the individual. Juvenile records that can be expunged include law enforcement agency files, court files, and files of any other person who has provided service to the child under a court order. These are all the records pertaining to the individual's involvement in juvenile court proceedings.
In adult wrongful arrest cases, records eligible for expungement include fingerprints, arrest cases, photographs, and arrest records. Unlike other cases, information pertaining to wrongful arrests will not be placed or retained in an alphabetical arranged criminal history system maintained through local, regional, or state law enforcement agencies or in any state central repository for criminal history information. Indiana expungement does not require any alteration or change in any record kept at the time of the arrest or in the record of the court where the criminal charges were filed. This includes police blotter entries. DNA samples and profiles in regards to all criminals may be expunged upon request. The Indiana DNA database will destroy the samples according to Indiana Code 10-13-6-18.
Indiana Expungement Eligibility
Only certain people qualify for expungement under Indiana law. These people include individuals who have had all criminal charges dropped due to no probable cause, mistaken identity, or the fact that no offense was actually committed. An individual whose DNA profile can be found in the Indiana DNA database and whose conviction for the DNA sample was reversed leading to the case's dismissal may apply for expungement along with anyone who has been pardoned by the governor. Any person who has been charged with juvenile delinquency may also apply to have his or her records expunged.
In order to apply for expungement an individual must petition the court where he or she was accused of the crime on the record. If the petition is granted, the court will order that all law enforcement agencies, and in juvenile cases all those who provided treatment for the child under court order, to send all records back to the court. This request is made under Indiana Code 31-39-8-5. Those who have been wrongfully arrested must verify this and file to the charging court. If no charges were filed, the petition will be submitted to the criminal jurisdiction in the county where the arrest took place.
All petitions must include the date of the arrest, the charges, the law enforcement agency that employs the arresting officer, any known identifying information--such as a case number or a court case number--the date of his or her birth, and his or her social security number. Copies of the petition need to be sent to the law enforcement agency and the state central repository. See also:
Indiana Misdemeanor External link (opens in new window)
Indiana Felony External link (opens in new window)
Indiana Gun Laws External link (opens in new window)