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What Are the Differences Between Expungement and Pardon?

Ziliak Law Office Jan. 30, 2021

After a certain amount of time has passed in Indiana, you might be able to get a criminal conviction expunged from your record. This can make it easier to move on with your life without your past criminal record coming back to haunt you. However, it’s important to note that an expungement isn’t the same as a pardon.

What’s the Difference Between an Expungement and A Pardon?

In criminal law, an expungement allows you to remove a conviction from your record. The conviction will be wiped off your criminal record as if it had never happened, making it easier for you to get a job, apply for a loan and find housing. If you’re ever tried for a similar crime, expunged convictions can’t be used against you.

However, an expungement isn’t the same as a pardon. If you receive a pardon, the crime won’t be removed from your record. You won’t have to deal with the consequences, but there’s still the acknowledgment that a crime took place. Additionally, pardons can only be granted by public officials while expungement can only be granted by a judge.

A criminal defense attorney may be able to help you clear your record and get your life back on track. However, it should be noted that while expungement can erase convictions from your criminal record, it won’t remove the conviction from the public record. Police reports, news stories, and other reports about the incident will still exist.

Are You Eligible for Expungement?

If you committed a crime several years ago, you may be able to get it expunged from your record. An expungement might be what you need to get your life back on track. However, you likely need to talk to an attorney to get past offenses wiped from your criminal record.

Not all convictions can be expunged, so it’s important to get the facts and see if you’re eligible. If you are, an attorney may help you file an expungement petition with a local court. Some convictions have a 10-year waiting period before they can be taken off your record. Additionally, you might not be eligible if you have any pending charges.