We all make New Year’s wishes, right?
For thousands of Hoosiers, their wish is to have a clean criminal record without an old misdemeanor or felony conviction holding them back from job opportunities or having a firearm and license to carry. In the last several years, the Legislature has added several laws to allow you new ways to “remove” old convictions. This blog explores these and the legal remedies now available to you.
The oldest legal tool for addressing a past criminal conviction is post-conviction relief. This has been around for a long time, and in the right circumstance, may be used to wipe out a criminal conviction and restore your core civil rights: to sit on a jury, hold public office, vote, and keep and bear arms. This involves filing a petition in the original criminal court challenging the conviction. If successful, it may overturn a conviction and restore your rights.
Additionally, Indiana has a newer comprehensive expungement statute that allows most misdemeanors or felonies to be removed from your record. These laws are technical (and exclude certain crimes) but if you qualify, provide a way to remove Indiana convictions. If granted, an expungement restores your right to keep and bear arms.
This is the law under this third and current version of Indiana’s expungement statute, as the ATF did not recognize the first two expungement statutes the Legislature passed as effective for restoring the right to keep and bear arms. Those who had these early expungements have their criminal records sealed but do not have the right to keep and bear arms. At present, there are some legal avenues to effectively “re-expunge” these cases to restore your right to keep and bear arms. Is this your case?
Lastly, crimes involving domestic violence have generally left individuals with such a conviction with a lifetime prohibition on obtaining a license to carry a handgun or ability to possess firearms and ammunition. However, there is a comprehensive Indiana statute to restore your rights. While difficult, this too is a remedy available for those with a domestic violence conviction.
On a final side note for you, there is no statutory way to expunge or remove a federal felony conviction. The president has to pardon you.
The takeaway from this blog is there are a number of ways to remove old misdemeanor or felonies and restore your rights to keep and bear arms. If this is your situation, this blog is written for you. This blog is written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. who routinely handles these cases. This blog is not intended as legal advice or a solicitation for services. It is an advertisement.