COA denies expungement after man admitted to committing crime

March 9, 2016

The fact that a man admitted to committing a crime was enough to deny expungement of his records, the Indiana Court of Appeals said, despite the fact he was not convicted of one during his expungement time period.

David Lee Marshall was convicted of a number of operating while intoxicated and public intoxication charges, as well as a criminal recklessness and misdemeanor battery charge between 1992 and 2006. In April 2013, he was charged with Class D felony operating a vehicle as a habitual traffic violator and driving while suspended, a Class A misdemeanor. Marshall later signed a pretrial diversion agreement, admitting he was driving while suspended. The charges were dismissed when he completed the pretrial diversion program.

In January 2015, Marshall filed his petition for expungement, but the state opposed, saying he had not stayed crime-free during the eight-year time period he needed to in order to have his records expunged. The trial court denied his petition, saying he committed a crime in 2013, and he appealed.

The COA found that Marshall had had shown the requisite time lapse, the absence of pending charges, satisfaction of obligations and lack of a new criminal conviction, but said it needs to consider expungement statutes as a whole. While Marshall had never been convicted of another crime during the time period, he had committed one. He admitted it during diversionary proceedings.

The COA said the Legislature’s objective in the expungement statute was to provide assistance to those who remain law-abiding, and Marshall did not. He committed a crime, and therefore is not eligible for expungement.

“Expunging records where one has admitted to engaging in criminal activity does not further the policy objective of assistance to one who has paid his societal dues without incident,” Judge L. Mark Bailey wrote.

The case is David Lee Marshall v. State of Indiana, 20A03-1507-MI-973.


Recent Articles by Scott Roberts