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 ...
December 12, 2017CD
Criminal matters are generally thought of in two or three categories: Felonies, Misdemeanors, and Infractions.1 Generally, infractions are offenses that are punishable by a fine but not jail time, such as a speeding or parking ticket. Felonies and misdemeanors are labeled by numbers regarding the level of crime and this letter may indicate the level of punishment assigned to the crime. The most significant issue for a defendant is to wind up with a Felony conviction as this may cause loss of a job or prevent employment. Many employers run criminal background checks and will not hire felons for a ...
November 21, 2017CD
A key tool prosecutors and defense attorneys use to resolve criminal cases is a plea agreement. This is a contract of sorts between the two “parties”, the prosecutor and the defendant, but is not binding upon the court unless it is accepted. Plea agreements ensure the orderly and timely administration of justice by allowing most cases to resolve without a bench (judge) or jury trial (where allowed). For most defendants, the biggest reason for a plea is to obtain charges being dropped, a lesser sentence, or the risk and expense of a trial. However, a plea agreement is admission to a ...
March 31, 2017Adam Hayes
Indiana has passed two versions of expungement statutes. The purpose of the statutory scheme was to restore core civil liberties to certain individuals who had old criminal histories in Indiana. These core civil liberties are to hold public office, vote, serve on a jury and possess firearms. However, the Justice Department did not accept Indiana’s expungement statute to restore the right to keep and possess firearms under Indiana law nor qualify for a License to carry a handgun. While a very technical area, as of November 1, 2015, it appears that ATF has recognized Indiana’s current statute as comporting with federal ...
November 12, 2015Adam Hayes
Since jail time, whatever the reason, infringes on a deeply protected right to freedom, most states, and the federal government, takes jail as punishment for a crime seriously. Jail for civil contempt reasons is far less common, and cannot be used to “punish,” but rather to incite action to comply with court orders. One of the main tenants of the constitution is to protect certain civil liberties that we, as a society, hold in high regard, such as freedom, free speech, and bearing arms. Many civil liberties receive more attention these days in the media than jail time, because generally, ...
October 14, 2014CD