INDIANAPOLIS | State court officials released sample petitions Friday that Hoosiers can follow to begin the process of expunging their criminal records, though consulting an attorney before submitting the documents is still recommended.
The forms, developed by the Supreme Court's Division of State Court Administration, Records Management Committee and the Indiana Judicial Center, explain Indiana's new expungement law and use a fill-in-the-blank structure to detail what an expungement petition should contain.
The sample petitions for expungement and sample orders for judges to follow in responding to an expungement petition are available online at: in.gov/judiciary/2706.htm .
In bold print at the top of the form is a warning that the expungement procedure "is extremely complex, has not yet been fully litigated and contains severe consequences if mistakes are made."
Petitioners are urged to consult an attorney, especially if seeking to expunge multiple convictions.
The Indiana General Assembly this year approved the expungement law to give Hoosiers with criminal pasts an opportunity to wipe their records clean following at least five years of crime-free living for misdemeanors, or eight years for most felonies.
The law permits most expunged convictions be sealed or removed from court records, though major felonies will remain public records with a note that the conviction has been expunged.
Newspapers and other media outlets are not required to delete articles about past crimes that have been expunged.