Do I Need an Attorney to Expunge/Clear My Criminal Record in Indiana?
In general, you do not need an attorney to expunge your criminal arrest record in Indiana. The process for applying is straightforward, and the legal requirements are strict but not severe. You can apply to have your arrest record expunged if:
- You never had criminal charges filed against you for the arrest, or
- Criminal charges filed against you were ultimately dropped because of mistaken identity, or because no offense was in fact committed, or because there was an absence of probable cause.
If you meet these and other requirements, and understand the petition requirements and can take care of researching issues yourself (as you are doing right now), then you can probably go ahead without an attorney. (Scroll down and look through our other articles on getting your arrest record expunged in Indiana, to be sure.)
However, if you are unclear of your status with regard to these requirements, or if you have a past conviction record or other criminal charges pending against you, then you may want to consult an attorney in order to prepare for the objections that may be raised by law enforcement to your arrest record's expungement.
You may also hire an attorney because you simply want a legal expert you can rely on and hold accountable during this process. No matter how black and white the petitioning requirements are, the particulars of your case may very well be the grey in between ' and there is no sense taking chances on something like this. If you can imagine a scenario where you may need help or advice convincing the court against law enforcement's objections, then you should hire an attorney.
Not every attorney charges an "arm and a leg", but every attorney that represents you is your "agent" in court for that particular issue. The presence of an attorney to guide you through the application process as well as in court--to persuade the judge of the merits of your case'makes sense in light of what you have to gain with a successful petition. For lawyers specializing in Indiana criminal record expungement, some who may allow free initial consultations, click http://attorneypages.com/524IN/index.htm.