How to Expunge a DUI in Indianapolis, Indiana

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Being arrested for 'operating a vehicle under the influence' (OWI) or driving under the influence' (DUI), can have a serious negative impact on your life. A criminal record can affect your chances of being admitted to the college or university of your cho

How to Expunge a DUI in Indianapolis, Indiana

Definition of DUI in Indiana

In many states, the law enforcement term for drunk driving is 'driving under the influence' (DUI). In the State of Indiana, it is referred to as 'operating a vehicle under the influence' (OWI). The blood alcohol content (BAC) for being charged with OWI depends on the driver's age (0.2% if under 21; 0.8% over 21) and if they drive commercially (0.4%). A first offence is classed as a misdemeanor while second and third offences are classified as felonies.

Penalties in Indiana

In the State of Indiana,operating a motor vehicle when under the influence of alcohol is a very serious offence.  For a first conviction, the penalty is a fine of up to $5,000 and a possible custodial sentence lasting no longer than a year. You will also lose your drivers license for up to thirty days. Subsequent convictions attract correspondingly more severe penalties. A brief custodial sentence is compulsory, the fines are higher and the license suspension may be up to a year.

Having a DUI arrest on your record can affect your life long after your legal debt to society has been paid. Educational institutions may access your criminal record. This may keep you from attending the college or university of your choice. Potential future employers can have access to your records. This can affect your ability to land a good job. A criminal record can prevent you from being able to obtain a firearm or travel to certain countries. It will also affect your motor vehicle insurance.

What does it mean to expunge a DUI in Indianapolis, Indiana

Expungement is a general term that means cleansing your criminal record. This means that you will not have to delare your arrest on an employment application and that it will not appear on your record if it is searched by potential eduational institutions or employers. Your record will not prevent you from purchasing a firearm or travelling to the country of your choice. An expungement gives you a second chance to get on with your life without the stigma of a criminal record.

How to get a DUI expunged

The eligibility criteria for having a DUI expunged in Indianapolis, Indiana, are very restricted. You may qualify if:

  • An arrest took place but no charges were filed OR if charges were filed, they subsequently were were dropped. This may be because of mistaken identity, lack of probable cause or the offence was not committed.
  • You had a conviction but this has been reversed and your case has been dismissed. This is applicable if you are a juvenile, if there is DNA evidence that clears you of the charge or if you have been pardoned.

If you meet any of these criteria, you need to petition the court to have the arrest expunged. While you may prepare the petition yourself, you are strongly recommended to seek the services of a suitably qualified attorney.  The petition itself must include:

  • The charge
  • The date of arrest
  • The name of the law enforcement agency by which the arresting officer was employed
  • Any identifying information such as the court case number, the police case number, the name of the arresting officer
  • Your birthdate
  • Your Social Security Number
  • A statement that everything in your statement is true (verification)

You will the need to sign the petition and take the original to the relevant court. Copies are required for the law enforcement agency that made the arrest, the state central repository for records (Indiana Government Center, 100 N Senate, Room 302, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204.

What happens after you have submitted a petition to have your DUI expunged

The court may:

  • Grant the petition
  • Set a hearing
  • Deny the petition

Any law enforcement authority that does not agree with your petition may file a notice of opposition explaining why they object to having your arrest expunged. They must do this within 30 days after you file the petition. In the event of a hearing, your petition will be granted unless:

  • You do not meet one of the two criteria for expungement
  • You have a record of arrests for other than traffic offences
  • There are other criminal charges that are pending against you

If the court decides to grant the expungement, the arresting law enforcement authority must either destroy all relevant records or hand the over to you. Also, no information concerning the arrest may be placed in any central state criminal information system.

Remember, that laws can change, so always check with an attorney.

How to expunge a DUI in other US cities 



Posted on Mar 17, 2012
Abdel-moniem El-Shorbagy
Posted on Mar 14, 2012