New Indiana Laws Aim to Help Ex-Offenders Find Work

In an effort to make it easier for ex-offenders to find employment, two significant changes were made to state laws last July allowing non-violent offenders to have their criminal records sealed. On top of that, the changes give the courts the power to convert a Class D felony conviction to a Class A misdemeanor upon petition.

Executive Director of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission Jamal L. Smith said it’s important to share information on newly-passed laws to ensure everyone has a clear understanding of their rights. He said they are emphasizing these laws specifically because they have gone relatively unnoticed.

However, there are a number of conditions that must be met before an ex-offender can request these modifications. They must wait a minimum of eight years following the competition of their sentence and three years to request a conversion of a Class D felony conviction to a Class A misdemeanor.

Only non-violent offenders qualify for these new rights, as sexual or violent offenders, persons convicted of a Class D felony that resulted in bodily injury to another person, or those still serving sentences related to criminal activity are not eligible to submit a petition.