New law restricts access to criminal records


Applicants for jobs no longer have to agonize over whether to be truthful about arrests and minor convictions during an interview under Indiana’s new law. The prior “expungement statute” in Indiana was limited, and it primarily only provided relief to persons who were arrested but not charged with a crime. The new Indiana law, however, allows a person to petition a court to restrict access to criminal records. The new law does not prevent the police from being able to access the records; however, if a court grants the petition and the records are restricted, you may legally state on an application for employment that you have not been arrested for or convicted of a crime.

The new law applies to people who were charged with crimes but were not convicted, and to those with convictions of relatively minor offenses that do not result in injury (such as DUI and public intoxication). A convicted person becomes eligible eight years after they have completed all obligations of their sentence, and someone not convicted of a criminal charge becomes eligible in 30 days or one year, depending on whether there was a dismissal or they were found not guilty.

This new law gives something more than lip service to the idea of second chances and will allow those who have made and – paid for – mistakes to be competitive in the job market.

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