Indiana Court Records
Are Criminal Records Public In Indiana?
According to Indiana Public Records Law, members of the general public may request and obtain all criminal records that are issued and maintained by the state’s law enforcement agencies. While requestors are required to provide a reason for the search, Indiana Law only frowns at searches requested for commercial purposes. Also, employers who need to access an applicant’s criminal history response must obtain a signed authorization form from the applicant.
Indiana criminal history records are maintained by the state’s law enforcement agencies and may be accessed directly from the Indiana State Police (ISP). Several Indiana authorities create these records at the state, county, city, or municipal levels. Indiana criminal records are maintained infinitely.
What Is Included In A Criminal Record In Indiana?
A criminal record contains details of a person’s documented criminal history in the state. These records are sometimes called RAP (Records of Arrests and Prosecutions) sheets and include all occurrences where the person was found to have violated the law. The following are the details available on a person’s criminal history record:
- Full name, including nicknames or aliases
- Fingerprint records
- Personal information including date of birth, ethnicity, race
- Other physical descriptors
- All past or pending indictments
- All issued warrants
- All convictions
A criminal history record includes dates of all arrests, indictments, and convictions. It also includes the nature of the crimes committed, other people involved in the crimes or arrests, court judgments, and the dates the judgments were passed.
How To Look Up My Criminal Records In Indiana?
Indiana criminal records are available from the mid–1930s to present and are available by mail and in person. Interested persons may request for criminal records using the name-based search or the fingerprint-based search.
The name-based search gives access to a limited criminal history background report. A limited report only contains records of felonies and Class A misdemeanor arrests. To request a name-based criminal record by mail, download and complete the ISP’s Limited Criminal History form with details of the person on the desired record. These details include the person’s last name, first name, date of birth, sex, and race. The form should also include a daytime phone number, and details on where the requestor would like to receive the record. Also, a search reason is required and will involve marking an “X” on one of the 17 options listed on the form. Enclose the completed form with a money order for $7, payable to the “State of Indiana.” Send the request to:
Indiana State Police
Criminal History Limited Check
PO Box 6188
Indianapolis, IN 46206–6188
To request a criminal record in person, visit the ISP’s Central Records Division with a government-issued ID, at the following address:
Central Records Division
Indiana Government Center
100 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Interested persons may also request a fingerprint-based full criminal history report. This report is more detailed than the limited criminal history report and contains all of a person’s arrests, charges, and dispositions in the state. For this service, a requestor may visit the Indiana Fingerprinting & Enrollment Services page to schedule a fingerprinting appointment. The requestor should then select the Criminal Record Review/Challenge as the Agency Name. Next, enter a zip code or select an Indiana region, for a list of all sites and available times to schedule fingerprinting. Requestors may then pay online using a debit or credit card, or pay at the fingerprinting service center either by money order or a cashier’s check.
After completing the process, the requestor will either receive a copy of the record or receive a No Record Letter. Please note that fees are not refundable, regardless of the search outcome.
How Can I Get My Criminal Records For Free In Indiana?
Criminal records in Indiana are available for varying fees, depending on the request channel and whether the search is name-based or fingerprint-based. The ISP has no provision that allows private individuals to access criminal records for free. Under specific requirements, fee exemptions are only available to certain entities, including schools, the department of child services, religious bodies, educational institutions, and other nonprofit organizations.
How To Search Criminal Records Online In Indiana?
A limited criminal history search is available via the ISP’s online request service. To request a record online, create an account with the ISP using an email address, which will serve as a username. Note that this service requires an active credit card, and costs $16.32 per record. Also, the requested service considers all conducted searches as completed requests, regardless of the outcome. Therefore, a search will still be billed even if the requestor receives a “No Records Found” response.
Requestors that need to access criminal records may consider a subscription to the Indiana State Government’s Account Center. Criminal records are available to subscribers at $15.
In addition to the online request service, criminal case files are available with the clerk of court in Indiana counties. For example, Marion County provides an online case search platform where interested persons may request criminal case files. Interested persons may search by case, name, or attorney.
The case search allows a requestor to search using a case number, citation number, or cross-reference number. A requestor may also select the court that handled the case and choose one or more of six different case types. Furthermore, a requestor may restrict the search results by the current status of the case and also the filing date.
For the name search, provide the offender’s last, first, and middle names, as well as a date of birth. If uncertain about the name, select the “sounds-like” checkbox to search for names that sound like the inputted query. The name search also allows the requestor to select the court that handled the case and limit the search to specific case types, current status, and filing date.
The attorney search also lets requestors search using the name of an attorney involved in the case, and all the other features available with the name search.
Note that while a criminal case file contains details of a person’s criminal record, it is not a comprehensive criminal history report and cannot officially be used as a substitute.
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
- The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
- The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that the person resides in or was accused in
Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.
How To Get Criminal Records Expunged In Indiana?
According to IC–35–38–9, Indiana residents can request to expunge criminal records. However, interested persons should have satisfied certain requirements, depending on whether the conviction was for a misdemeanor or felony offense.
The following are requirements for expunging a misdemeanor conviction:
- A five-year waiting period has passed since the conviction date
- The individual was not convicted for any other crime during the waiting period
- The individual has no pending criminal charges
- The individual has satisfied all terms of the sentence, including fines, fees, and all other obligations
An individual may also qualify if the person got convicted for a Class D felony before July 1, 2014, or a Level 6 felony committed after June 30, 2014. However, the conviction must have been reduced to a misdemeanor after a plea agreement. Also, note that in some cases, expungement for misdemeanors may be possible even when five years have not passed. However, the prosecutor must agree to a shorter waiting period and must put this agreement in writing. If an individual meets all of the above requirements, expungement is mandatory in Indiana. The court may not refuse the petition.
Indiana law also allows for the expungement of a felony conviction, depending on the offense. To expunge a Class D or Level 6 felony conviction, the following conditions must be met:
- An eight-year waiting period has passed since the conviction date
- The individual was not convicted of any other crime during the waiting period
- The individual has completed all terms, such as fines and other court-ordered obligations
- The individual has no pending criminal charges
Similar to that of a misdemeanor record, an expungement is also possible if eight years have not passed since the conviction date. In the same way, the prosecutor must provide a written request, agreeing to a reduced waiting period. Also, the expungement here is mandatory.
Persons may also expunge felonies other than Level 6 or Class D felonies, after meeting specific requirements. For these offenses, there is an eight-year waiting period for non-violent felonies and a ten-year waiting period for violent felonies. Also, note that expunging a violent felony requires the prosecutor’s consent, even if the individual meets all other requirements.
Furthermore, an expungement here is not mandatory. This means that the court may deny the application for an expunction even if the individual satisfies all requirements. However, the court may grant the expungement after considering several other factors. A person who presents evidence of positive changes since the conviction has a higher chance of receiving approval.
Regardless of the other requirements, note that expungement is unavailable for certain convictions. These convictions include:
- An offense committed by an elected official while serving an official term
- Any felony that caused serious bodily harm to another person
- An official misconduct
- A sex offense, including rape, child molestation, and sexual misconduct
- Human and sexual trafficking
Eligible Indiana residents may begin the process by filing a petition in the county court with jurisdiction over the case. If the offender has several convictions in one county, the process should consolidate all convictions into one petition. However, if the convictions are in more than one Indiana county, the individual must file a separate petition for each county. Note that all petitions filed in multiple counties must be completed within one year. Each petition must be verified, and must contain the following information:
- The petitioner’s full name, including all past and current legal names and aliases
- The petitioner’s date of birth
- The petitioner’s social security number and driver’s license number
- All addresses of places the petitioner has lived from the offense date to the petition date
- Case number or court cause number, where available
- Confirmation that the petitioner has no pending criminal investigation or charges
- Confirmation that the petitioner did not commit another crime during the statutory waiting period, depending on the crime the petition addresses
- Confirmation that the required waiting period has elapsed
- The prosecuting attorney’s written consent to a reduced waiting period if the waiting period has not elapsed
- A list of all convictions, including cause number, conviction date, appeals, and any applicable appellate opinions
- All arrest dates
- Information about other related petitions
Note that varying filing fees apply across Indiana county courts. However, courts may reduce or waive these fees for indigent persons. After filing a petition, the court may take between 30–180 days to approve the petition.
If the petition is denied, Indiana’s expungement law allows the individual to file another petition for one of the convictions included as part of the original petition. If the conviction is for a high-level felony, the petitioner may only refile after three years have passed since the denial date of the last petition. Note that Indiana law only allows refiling for convictions not originally granted. Petitioners may not add convictions not included in the original petition. Also, persons are not allowed to file a separate petition from the original.
How To Get Criminal Records Sealed In Indiana?
In Indiana, the process of expungement is used to seal an individual’s criminal record. If a petition is granted, access to the record is significantly restricted, and will only be allowed under certain conditions, and only with the permission of a judge. However, in some cases, individuals may not fully qualify for an expungement. Regardless, such a person may obtain some record relief in the form of a partial sealing. Instead of expunging the entire record, the court may order one or more portions sealed. In such cases, following the same process, the individual’s criminal history record will still be available without the sealed portions.
Who Can See My Expunged/sealed Criminal Record In Indiana?
In Indiana, expunged criminal records are not destroyed or completely erased. In some cases, the record may still be viewed if the court considers this access necessary. According to Indiana’s expungement law, the following entities may procure a court order to the effect under certain conditions:
- Prosecuting attorney
- Defense attorney
- Probation department
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
- The Supreme Court
- Persons requesting under the state board of law examiners