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If you let every mistake you’ve ever made define you, who would you be and where would you be right now?

Perhaps that mistake involved a small amount of marijuana or maybe you shoplifted an item. If you were found guilty of an offense, you know what the weight of a criminal record holds—decreased employment opportunities, restrictions on housing, and even limited educational options.

What if there was a way to hide your criminal record and get a second chance…

Have You Heard of Indiana’s Second Chance Law?

Indiana’s Second Chance Law allows certain crimes on a criminal record to be restricted from access. This means that your record will only be visible to criminal justice organizations. If anyone else runs a criminal history check, your record will not show up.

Though employers would not be able to see your record, courts, police officers, and prosecutors would still have access to your criminal record. In addition, this law solely restricts access to your criminal records and does not erase your criminal history.

Who Is Eligible for Indiana’s Second Chance Law?

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Not everyone who applies for Indiana’s Second Chance Law will receive its benefits. There are different classifications of individuals who may be eligible including:

#1 Individuals Who Were Found Not Guilty

The individuals in this category were not convicted when they were arrested or the conviction was vacated on appeal. A person within this category may file to seal their record at least one year after they were arrested.

#2 Individuals Who Were Convicted of a Misdemeanor

The individuals within this category were either convicted of a misdemeanor or a Class D Felony that was later dropped to a misdemeanor charge. These individuals may apply for the Second Chance Law at least five years after they were convicted.

Certain restrictions apply to these individuals such as having no pending charges against their record, no pending driver’s license suspension, and more.

#3 Individuals Who Were Convicted of a Non-Violent Felony  

Individuals in this category were convicted of a non-violent, non-sexual felony. Many restrictions exist within this category and exclude individuals who were elected officials when they committed their crime, a felony that resulted in serious bodily harm to another person, and other circumstances.

This category of individuals must wait at least eight years after the completion of their sentence to file. There are also other restrictions such as not having any pending charges or a pending driver’s license suspension, amongst other criteria for them to file for the Second Chance Law.

The categories listed above are just some of the individuals who would qualify for Indiana’s Second Chance Law. Other categories exist and each case is unique and should be reviewed with a criminal defense attorney in Lafayette, Indiana.

How Do You Apply for Indiana’s Second Chance Law?

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It’s important to note that individuals can only file for the Indiana Second Chance Law once if their original petition was denied by a judge. With that being said, a criminal defense attorney in Lafayette, Indiana should be consulted for help with filings.

Who Can Help You File?

To see if you apply for Indiana’s Second Chance Law, contact Coulter Law Office in Lafayette, Indiana. Bryan Coulter is a criminal defense attorney with more than a decade of experience with criminal record expungement. For more information, call (765) 423-2888.