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[r68] Bill gives nonviolent offenders a fresh start
Start Date: 4/26/2013 All Day
End Date: 4/26/2013
Entry Description

STATEHOUSE – A bill to eliminate or expunge non-violent, felony or misdemeanor charges will now go to Governor Mike Pence to sign into law. Authored by State Representative Jud McMillin (R-Brookville), House Bill (HB) 1482 is intended to give ex-offenders a second chance and a means to get back to work.

“Article 1, Section 18 of our State Constitution outlines that the goal of our penal system shall be founded on reformation and not vindictive justice,” said Rep. McMillin. “Ex-offenders leave prison and immediately become labeled everywhere they go; all the while, doors close because of a permanent criminal record hanging over their head. With thirty-three other states having an expungement policy in place, it’s time that Indiana joins the rest of the nation in holding people accountable while allowing forgiveness and second chances to occur.”

A 2012 National Institute of Justice study shows, that nearly one-third of American adults have been arrested by age 23. Currently, state law allows an individual convicted of a crime to petition the sentencing court to restrict disclosure of such charges. Additionally, the law includes a provision that a sentencing court may convert a Class D felony conviction to a Class A misdemeanor after three years has transpired since completion of their sentence agreement. 

HB 1482 allows a sentencing court to seal the records of a person who was arrested but not prosecuted or whose conviction was overturned on appeal one year after the arrest was made. Additionally, the bill permits an individual to expunge a misdemeanor conviction after five years and certain non-violent, Class D felony convictions eight years after the arrest was made.

Based on the sentencing court’s discretion, certain more serious felony convictions could also be expunged eight years since the arrest was made, and for the most serious, non-violent felony charges, they could be marked as expunged but remain public record, 10 years after the arrest was made.

An individual may only petition for expungement once in their lifetime, and HB 1482 permits a law enforcement officer to access certain expunged records without a court order. Moreover, the bill makes the Indiana State Police maintain the criminal history information at the central repository.

“I understand it can be difficult for those with prior convictions to rebuild their lives in our society, and while we should certainly hold them accountable for their actions, those who have made mistakes should not be hindered forever,” said Rep. McMillin. “Making mistakes does not necessarily mean someone is a bad person, it means they are human, and in the right circumstances they should get a second chance.”

Visit www.in.gov/legislative for more information regarding HB 1482.

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Contact Information:
Name: Ben Gavelek
Phone: 317-234-9290
Email: bgavelek@iga.in.gov
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Entry Type:
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  • IN.gov Category:
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  • Agency Name
    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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