A lot of people who’ve been arrested for DUI / OVWI want to know how long it’s going to stay on their record. DUI / OVWI law in Indiana is complicated, so what looks like a straightforward question actually has four different answers.

(A) If You’re Not Convicted

If you beat the case—whether that’s through a dismissal of charges, a not guilty verdict, or a vacated judgment—you have to wait one year from the date of your arrest. After a year has passed, you can petition the court for expungement of the records related to the arrest or criminal charges.

(B) If You’re Convicted of a Misdemeanor

If you’re convicted of a misdemeanor DUI / OVWI offense—by plea or by trial—you have to wait five years from the date of your conviction. After five years have passed, you can petition the court for expungement of all conviction records (this includes any record of your arrest).

(C) If You’re Convicted of a Level 6 Felony

If you’re convicted of a Level 6 felony DUI / OVWI offense, things can get a little complicated. If you’re able to get the felony reduced to a misdemeanor—for example, through alternative misdemeanor sentencing—you have to wait the misdemeanor standard of five years. If the felony is not reduced to a misdemeanor, you have to wait eight years from the date of your conviction.

(D) If You’re Convicted of a Level 5 Felony (Or Higher)

Things become increasingly complicated with higher level felonies. Some of these convictions are only eligible for expungement at the court’s discretion. Others become eligible for expungement at the court’s discretion after 10 years have passed from the date of conviction.

Some convictions—such as sex offenses and homicides—are ineligible for expungement.

Make the Right Call

Expungement offers an amazing opportunity. It allows you to say, I have never been arrested or convicted. Expungement can help you leave certain things in the past where they belong.

The attorneys at the Marc Lopez Law Firm love expunging convictions almost as much as they love defending against them. If you have any questions about expungement law in Indiana, give us a call at 317-632-3642, and remember—always plead the 5th!