Expungement Bill Passes in Indiana House
Indianaâ€™s expungement law is one of the strictest in the country.
The current law only allows for the expungement of a record if a person was arrested, but no charges were filed in court. The law does not currently allow for expungement of a felony or misdemeanor conviction.
Representative Jud McMillin believes change is on the way, and he is a key player in bringing said change about. Representative McMillin recently authored and introduced House Bill 1482, which will finally allow expungement of convictions in Indiana for some misdemeanor and nonviolent felony convictions after an individual undergoes a ten-year period without reoffending. The proposed legislation passed in the House with an 82-17 vote on February 5, 2013 after several days of testimony from panel members and church officials. The Bill is now inÂ the hands of the Senate and is awaiting decision. On March 20, 2013, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony regarding the benefits of the Bill, but has postponed the vote to consider additional amendments.
The proposed Bill would not allow for sexual offenses and felonies causing harm to be expunged. The intent of the Bill is to allow individuals convicted of felonies or misdemeanors an opportunity to become productive members of society.
Representative Eberhart has raised concerns during the House debates specifically that the Bill favors the offender and not the victim or potential victims.
Furthermore, he believes that if the bill passed, business owners would not have the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions regarding the hiring of an individual with an expunged criminal history.
Conversely, Representative McMillin and other Republican Representatives feel that these individuals have made an effort to leave the past behind them, and many individuals have families for whom they must provide. State Representatives Eric Turner and Matt Ubelhor expressed their support for the Bill because they have experienced firsthand having to turn away talented and remarkable individuals during the hiring process because of past convictions. Passage of House Bill 1482 will allow individuals with a criminal history the opportunity to move forward with their lives.