INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WTHI) - A bill, erasing non-violent crimes from Indiana record books, is now law.
Governor Pence signed the Second Chance bill last week.
Certain ex-offenders will be given a fresh start, thanks to this new law.
Some misdemeanors and felonies can be erased from record after a set time period.
It's all contingent on staying out of trouble during a probationary period.
One Sullivan County woman calls the new law long overdue.
"I've had many job opportunities not available to me because of my past...even though I've been in the medical field since I was 18. It doesn't matter because I have a criminal background," said the former offender, who asked us not to reveal her name.
It's called the Second Chance Bill.
It allows misdemeanors and some felonies on a convicted criminal's record to be erased.
It could help some former offenders get a new start for things like a job search.
We spoke to Judge Phillip Adler a few months ago about the bill.
He agreed some convicted Hoosiers deserve a chance to move forward.
"I mean, let's face it. What if someone had a youthful indiscretion? And they got arrested and convicted of public intoxication, shoplifting, a minor drug possession offense, should that person be saddled with that conviction which might impede his or her ability to get a good job once they become much older?" said Judge Adler.
I also received an email from a woman who says having her record expunged is her dream.
She said she wants to go fill out a job application and not have to worry about that section.
Her conviction happened more than seven years ago.
She thinks if a person shows they changed for the better, this gives them a fresh start.
"I probably would've had many more job opportunities than were available to me, and have made a lot more money for my family," said the former offender.
There are limits to the bill.
There is a waiting period of at least five years after a sentence is completed.
Sexual or violent crimes are not eligible to be expunged. And also, some non-violent, non-sexual Class D felonies will be included in this option.
For those crimes, a crime-free eight years is required.
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