‘UnPHILtered’: Understanding Indiana’s second chance law

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana’s Expungement Law allows Hoosiers to restrict access to criminal records. Under the 2013 law, the expungements are available five years after misdemeanor convictions and eight years after select felony convictions in Indiana. Exceptions include crimes such as homicide, sex crimes, or human trafficking.

Carrie Hagan, a professor of law and Director of the Civil Practice Clinic at the Indiana University McKinney School of Law, joined News 8’s Phil Sanchez on Thursday’s ‘UnPHILtered” and explained certain conditions have to be met in order to have a crime expunged. She also said those requirements keep people from getting their second chance at a clean slate.

“You have to have a certain amount of time pass, and you also have to have any outstanding fines and fees on any of the cases that you’re seeking to expunge paid off,” she said. “A lot of people are stopped by those barriers. Not enough time may have passed or they don’t have fines and fees paid off. More often than not it’s the latter; they owe hundreds to thousands of dollars that they need to pay.”

The requirements to have a crime expunged in Indiana based on the level of the offense are below:

Hagan said even if a crime is expunged, certain government agencies will be able to see it on a person’s criminal record. For higher level offenses, even if all the requirements are met for expungement, they will still be publicly visible but marked as expunged.

“Higher level felonies with and without serious bodily injury, you can still expunge those, but it’s up to the court whether or not to allow it as well as the prosecutor for the most serious type and they still show up as marked as expunged,” Hagan said. “So, that’s a really difficult conversation we have to have with our clients because if it still shows up as marked as expunged; what is the point?”

To watch the full interview, click on the video above.