How do I get my felony reduced or removed from my record?

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How do I get my felony reduced or removed from my record?

Asked on February 18, 2013 under Criminal Law, Indiana

Answers:

Tricia Dwyer / Tricia Dwyer Esq & Associates PLLC

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Hello.  In the event that you very recently were convicted then you urgently need to confer with an attorney with no delay whatsoever regarding the matter of appeal and other possible recourse, because time deadlines are rigid and strict.  Otherwise, the process of seeking removal of a court record is complex and one for which I certainly recommend that you have attorney assistance.  Some criminal cases have an outcome that is ‘in your favor’; for instance, if you are found not guilty, or if the prosecutor decides to dismiss the case, or if you successfully complete a pre trial ‘diversion program’ (a special program aimed at helping you not repeat your wrong again and steer clear of the criminal courts in the future).  In such cases, you may qualify to seek an expungement of records about your case. You, however, seem to state that you were convicted, and convicted of a felony, and I assume that the legal matter itself pertains to an adult (not a juvenile).  Such a criminal case would have ended ‘not in your favor’. You may have been pled guilty or been found guilty.  You may have pled guilty and received a ‘stay of imposition’ or a ‘stay of adjudication’.  Rules vary according to whether the criminal act was committed by and treated as a juvenile matter or whether the criminal act pertains to an adult. Certain serious crimes, murder for instance, may never be expunged.  Judges understand that we all make mistakes and one’s criminal records affect a person for years in the future, even for a lifetime. Criminal records can and do create negative collateral consequences and repercussions, for example, being fired from one’s job upon a routine background check of employees being made.  Expungement may be granted by a judge in certain instances upon a showing that you have made concrete, positive changes in your life over time, and a showing that it appears quite unlikely that you will ever commit another crime.  The actual, mechanical process of seeking an expungement is complicated and time consuming and lengthy.  As stated, I definitely advise that you have attorney counsel in this undertaking.  The attorney may provide counsel and legal advice to you in many regards, all of which is aimed at improving your chances for a successful outcome.  In my work, I may advise a person to take certain specific, concrete action steps in her/his life as ‘pre-planning’ to initiating the expungement legal action. A note to you is that attorneys are not permitted to guarantee outcomes. I provide legal counsel based on law (both statute and case law, etc.) and education and years of work experience, etc.  I recommend that you telephone several attorneys in choosing an attorney to assist you, because it is important that you feel comfortable with the attorney, and a sense of trust.  Also, know that some attorneys, but not all, may be willing to assist you on a ‘limited scope’ legal counsel basis. All the best to you.


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