Everyone makes mistakes. The important thing about making mistakes is not whether someone makes them. It is what we do with our lives after. Unfortunately, when it comes to criminal offences, changing one’s life after making a mistake is often extremely difficult. This can especially be true when it comes to DUI and OVWI convictions lingering on an individual’s record. Often times the existence of these offences on one’s criminal record can prevent that person from obtaining subsequent employment, even if the conviction is decades old.
Can a DUI or OVWI be expunged?
The short answer to this question is yes. The real answer is that it depends.
For a misdemeanor DUI conviction to be expunged, at least 5 years must have passed from the date of conviction, the person cannot have committed any other crimes in the previous five years from filing the expungement petition, and the person must have paid all courts costs and fines. These are the minimum
Requirements for a misdemeanor expungement and other factors such as additional criminal convictions can change when or if a person qualifies to file a
For a Level 6 felony DUI conviction to be expunged, at least 8 years must have passed since the date of conviction, the petitioner cannot have committed any other crimes in the prior 8 years and the person must have paid all fines, fee and court costs. And again, any other criminal convictions on the person’s history will affect the ability to file for an expungement of a DUI conviction.
How to File a Petition to Expunge a DUI Conviction in Indiana
Expungement petitions can be complicated. In order to file a petition to expunge a DUI conviction, a petition must be filed in the court of conviction, or in the county where the conviction occurred if there are other convictions being expunged at the same time in that same county. Local rules must be followed in determining where to file the petition.
Along with the petition, you may want to file relevant exhibits, showing when the conviction was entered, what the sentence was and if the fines and fees were paid. There is also very specific information that must be included in the expungement petition, including the person’s date of birth, social security number and all prior addresses since the date of the offense. These details are important, and if left out, the prosecutor may file an objection. Having an experienced expungement attorney can be the difference between having your petition granted or denied.
Depending on the court the case is filed in, you may need to file a proposed order with the petition or after a hearing. Some courts will grant the petition without a hearing if there is no objection from the prosecutor, while other courts require a hearing for every petition. Whether you have an attorney or
not, if there is a hearing set, it is always important to be prepared and have all of your documents in order.
Your Criminal Records After the DUI Conviction is Expunged
Once a DUI is expunged or sealed by the court, the court’s order will determine what will be ordered expunged. In most cases, the court will order the conviction and any records related to that conviction expunged. This order will be sent to the arresting agencies, the court clerk, the prosecutor’s office, any jail or probation office that provided services and any other state agencies that maintain records, including the Indiana State Police.
Your Driving Record After the DUI Conviction is Expunged
Along with ordering the police and court clerk to expunge the DUI conviction records, the order should also include language ordering the Indiana BMV to expunge or remove records relating to the DUI conviction from the petitioner’s driving record. This may include the record of conviction and related driver’s license suspensions.
Effect on pending driver’s license suspension
However, it is important to note that the expungement of a DUI conviction, or any conviction for that matter, will not affect a pending driver’s license suspension. So if the DUI conviction you are expunging triggered an HTV suspension, the DUI conviction may be expunged, but the HTV suspension would still remain.