Specialized Driving and Expungement Combo Helping Hoosiers Back to Work
Having a criminal record often limits your possibilities and opportunities. Whether you've got a misdmeanor or felony conviction on your record, colleges may deny your application, employers may not hire you, banks won't give you a loan and an apartment complex may not rent you an apartment. Even a misdemeanor operating while intoxicated conviction can impede your employment opportunities. And if you are determined to be a habitual traffic violator, you'll lose your driving privileges for five years, ten years, or life. But with two new laws in Indiana, things can change for teh better for those with criminal records or a suspended driver's license.
The Indiana Expungement Law was Expanded in 2014
Indiana updated its expungement law effective March 2014 empowering courts to expunge most criminal records. While the effect of the expungement order varies depending on the seriousness of the crime, it’s one of the most progressive restoration of rights statutes ever passed in Indiana. Its core concept is to restore rights, eliminate discrimination based on criminal record and give offenders a fresh start. The Indiana state courts have taken a proactive approach, and hundreds of people have had their criminal record expunged. Here are some important points of the new law to give you a better understanding:
All criminal records in misdemeanor cases and almost all Class D or Level 6 felony cases are eligible for expungement. Effective March 26, 2014, many serious felony charges are also eligible for expungement.
Depending on the nature of the crime and whether the person was actually convicted, waiting periods for eligibility range from one to 10 years.
After an expungement order has been issued, non-violent Class D and Level 6 felonies and all misdemeanor conviction records are sealed and removed from public access.
Petitioners may seek to expunge more than one conviction at the same time. If a person has convictions in multiple counties, he or she must file expungement petitions in each county within 365 days.
An individual may not be questioned in a job interview about a previous criminal record that has been expunged.
Expungement petitions may not be reported by credit reporting companies.
When you think about it, it’s only fair that when somebody has served their court-imposed sentence, there should be a pathway without barriers back into society. This is the goal of the new expungement law.
Specialized Driving Privileges are Available to Habitual Traffic Offenders in Indiana
There is also a new law in Indiana that can help drivers with suspended licenses get back on the road. Effective January 2015, Indiana Judges have discretion to grant specialized driving privileges to those who have had their driver’s license suspended. Persons suspended as habitual traffic offenders, even with lifetime suspensions, can apply immediately. The old law, requiring 5 or 10 years of an HTV suspension to be served prior to applying for a probationary license, has been repealed. At the same time, there are some caveats. Restrictions may be imposed on where and when you can drive, and the judge may include an ignition interlock device. Either way, it’s a great way to get back on the road and get to work. To be eligible, a person must not hold a CDL, must have previously had a valid Indiana driver’s license, and cannot have refused a breath test.
Attorneys for Expungement and Specialized Driving: Lafayette, Fort Wayne and Statewide
If you’re seeking to have a criminal conviction expunged from your record or want to attain special driving privileges due to a suspension, call Gibson Law Office for help. Gibson Law Office has a statewide practice and has represented clients in more than 60 Indiana counties. In addition, we have offices in Fort Wayne and Lafayette. We have represented clients in Indianapolis, Muncie, Bloomington, Huntington, Bluffton, Hartford City, Peru, Logansport, and Winamac. Gibson Law Office is up-to-date with the new laws and our attorneys are helping people get back to work and on the roads. If you have a criminal record or a suspended license, call us today for a free consultation.