Expungement can be a very scary word, but it basically means a sealing of the records. If you are facing criminal charges or simply want to put your records in order, you may be wondering how to obtain an expungement in a short amount of time. While there are some options, none of them are free or without any fees. There is always some sort of a cost to get an expungement. Know that depending on your situation and the specifics of your criminal history, there may be other options available to you. However, there is a fee that goes with getting an Indiana criminal record expungement.
Speak to an Indiana Expungement Attorney
The best way to learn how to get an expungement is to speak to a lawyer. While this will not usually cost much money, it is an essential step to take. A criminal defense lawyer will know how to handle the process and may even be able to give you legal advice that can help you with the consequences of a record expungement request. You should also keep in mind that lawyers are not just experts when it comes to criminal law; they can also help you with civil law matters such as divorce, asset claims, and many other problems. The cost to obtain an expungement depends on the expungement request, the lawyer, and the circumstances.
You Can Get an Expungement Without an Attorney
If you have a record that was expunged, it means that it has been removed from your official records. This can be done voluntarily by the individual, or it can be obtained involuntarily, which means that it has been suspended. While some records may have to be reported to criminal history agencies so that employers can check for any previous crimes, expunged convictions and records do not need to appear in these databases.
There are Hidden Costs to Not Getting an Expungement
In some cases, the cost to get an expunged record may actually be less than the cost to get it expunged. For example, if you have a marijuana conviction on your record and you apply for a job at a city hall, you may be denied. Even though the offense is expunged, the record shows that you were convicted, which may make it difficult for you to get employment. However, if you go online and search for a qualified expungement lawyer, you can obtain a document declaring that the conviction is null and void. This means that the conviction will not appear on your criminal record, and you can resume your life with a clean slate.
Get Several Quotes When Assessing Your Expungement Costs
When you are searching for this type of criminal record sealing or legal expungement service online, make sure that you get several quotes so that you can compare the cost. Many expungement focused law firms that offer this type of service do not require a fee for an initial consultation. You should still obtain some kind of quote to ensure that you are getting the best deal. The worst thing that you can do is sign up with the first law firm that handles sealing records that you find.
Resources to Getting Affordable Expungements
There are several options that exist when looking for the most affordable expungement for your situation. There are certain places that offer free expungement workshops. Usually, these are income-based. Some of the organizations that offer free or reduced criminal record expungement include:
- Project Grace
- Indiana Legal Help
- Marion County Prosecutor
- Papillion Foundation
- Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Indiana Legal Services and New Leaf New Life
No matter what, most Indiana expungement attorneys offer a free consultation, at a minimum. We’ve surveyed a number of expungement law firms in Indiana, and the price range for an attorney-assisted expungement is anywhere between $750.00 and $2,500 per expungement filing location.
After You’ve Successfully Paid the Fees Toward Your Criminal Record Expungement
Once you obtain your sealed records, you can begin the process of clearing your name. Expunging your records removes embarrassing personal information from public view. You can start fresh with a clean slate, knowing that you have made a quality decision.