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New law allows for restricted record access for certain crimes

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A change in state law that starts Friday allows non-violent offenders to have their criminal records sealed for misdemeanor and Class D felonies. An Indianapolis man is already filing a petition asking the Marion Superior Court to limit access to records involving two money conversion convictions.

This past session, the General Assembly passed House Enrolled Act 121, referred to as the new “second-chance” law. This allows individuals convicted of certain offenses that weren’t violent or sex crimes to request restricted access to arrest and criminal records after eight years since they completed a sentence. The new law’s limited to misdemeanors and Class D felonies, and it only limits access rather than expunging a person’s record completely.

HEA 1211 also allows people to request that limited record access if he or she was not prosecuted, if the charges were dismissed, if acquitted, or if the conviction was later vacated.

If a court grants the request, an individual would not be required to disclose the conviction on employment applications or any other documents outside of the criminal justice system.

The legislation’s co-sponsor, Sen. Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis, a civil attorney with Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan, held a press conference about the new statute outside the City-County Building in Indianapolis where resident Quinn Minor joined him before filing his petition. Minor received two "low-value" convictions in 1997 and 1999, and since completing his home detention and probation sentences, he has had trouble trying to find employment as a result of those being listed on his record.

“I’ve owned my own business, gone back to school, and raised a family with my wife of 13 years,” Minor said. “I paid my dues for these crimes, and I think my family deserves the opportunity to move forward without my old mistakes limiting our future.”

The Indiana State Police is responsible for the general aspect of limiting access to criminal histories, and about two dozen requests had been filed during the past three years through November 2010. A legislative fiscal analysis earlier this year said it wasn’t clear how many people this new law could effect.

A spokeswoman for the Indiana Senate Democrats said they have contaced the Indiana Supreme Court in hopes of having a form created for pro se petitioners.

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  • Dupree file
    I have a class D felony on my record. I was not convicted,but because it shows on my record I can't find a job or enroll in school.

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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