Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed into law legislation last month that allows people arrested or convicted of certain crimes to have those records expunged.
The new law, House Enrolled Act 1482, went into effect July 1, and provides a second chance to those convicted of certain nonviolent felony or misdemeanor charges in the state.
Under the new law, which is a revision of the “Second Chance Law” enacted by the 2012 Legislative Session, individuals who are convicted of misdemeanors or class D felonies can request to have their criminal records expunged (not just sealed) after five years (or eight years in the case of a class D felony). Such a petition requires the individual to:
◆ Not have been charged with or committed other crimes
◆ Successfully complete their sentence
◆ Not have a pending or existing driver’s license suspension
◆ Pay a licensing fee
Those convicted of sexual and violent crimes, such as murder and manslaughter, are not eligible to have their records expunged. The release of expunged criminal records, other than law enforcement officials acting in their official capacity, is prohibited without a court order.
A violation of the statue’s anti-discrimination provision under HEA 1482 is defined as a Class C infraction. For this reason, Indiana employers are encouraged to review their non-discrimination policies and employment applications to determine whether revisions are necessary to ensure compliance with the new law. For this reason, companies are urged to consult an employment law attorney for the appropriate language to place on an employment application.
It is critically important for Indiana employers to execute this change as soon as possible since the law is already in effect. If your organization employs individuals in Indiana, as well as other states that do not require the new application language, you may want to create multiple external employment applications.