EDITOR’S NOTE: Allen County Superior Court Judge Fran Gull advises everyone who wants to see their convictions disappear to consult a lawyer before they try to engage in the expungement process. “Those who want to use it have only one chance in their lifetimes, so if a petition goes nowhere or is done improperly, that’s it, she said.” (See article here)
DID YOU KNOW? By LaLeta
Did you know that the New Indiana Expungement Law/Second Chance is opening its horizon to B and C Felonies? Earlier this month, Governor Michael Pence signed a new bill asking the Indiana House of Representatives to allow B and C Drug Felonies the opportunity to petition the court to restrict access to their criminal history records. This is a follow-up update to the article which I wrote in the November 7-13, 2012 Frost Illustrated (click here to read that article).
Again Governor Mitch Daniels had already signed into law the New Indiana Expungement Law/Second Chance Act on July 1, 2011. The current bill allows for D Felonies and Misdemeanors to restrict access to their criminal record. Please note that this is truly a second chance… Per Judge Wendy Davis of the Allen County Superior Court Criminal/Felony Division, “if somebody truly wants to change their life and really become rehabilitated, then the expungement statute gives them the FREEDOM to say it’s no longer there” (click here to see video and read article the article at wane.com. The article also states that “however, there are no third or fourth chances, because people can only have their records expunged ONCE in their lives.”).
Now people this speaks volume to me, and should also speak volume to you. Hear this and be strongly advised to remember this statement, which Judge Wendy Davis has stated. My people this is a big opportunity for truly a second chance. Even employers will have to start changing applications from asking the question, “have you ever been convicted of a crime that wasn’t expunged” (www.wane.com)?
If the debt has been paid, then why would you have to continue to pay that debt over and over again? I am in awe of people that continue to judge and scrutinize people for their past discretions. Matthew chapter 7, “Do not judge lest you be judged, for in the way you judge, you will be judged: and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you”. “And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye”?
The current law was authored by Representative Eric Turner (R-Cicero) and co-authored by State Senator Greg Taylor. Representative Eric Turner stated that “in order to help people with minor criminal records receive less scrutiny when finding employment as well as to help those pursuing educational goals”. State Senator Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) stated “we need to give those who have made a mistake/wrong choice and paid their debt to society a second chance to elevate their lives and provide for their families”.
I have been empowering all of Northeast Indiana community of this new exciting gift of time for over a year now. And I have been forcefully fighting the justice system, which kept telling me no on a dismissed case from 2001. I was not willing to except NO for an answer, especially when the Law says different regarding the criteria’s in which I met. Courts have been facing confusion in implementing the law. Senator Richard Bray, R-Martinsville pointed out that “felons could potentially be admitted as lawyers,” (see article at courierpress.com) now imagine that, me LaLeta M. McClure a lawyer.
And I know from first hands-on experience that yes, the courts have been confused. I had submitted 3 petitions dating back since February 2012. Every time the court said no, I said that no was unacceptable. Now finally as of May 10, 2013 my petition has been granted (AMEN). With that being said, now when you petition the court to restrict your criminal history for a dismissed case, the State has requested that the Court treat this matter as a Petition for Relief under I.C. 35-38-5-5-5. There might be a change in the forms for dismissed cases, starting this July 2013, and a new bill will go into effect July 1, 2014, I will keep you updated. Please note that this might not be for you, but there is someone you know that could use this Second Chance.
Again the New Indiana Expungement Law applies to the following persons:
Persons who were arrested for a criminal act, but
Were not prosecuted on the criminal charge;
All charges were dismissed;
Were convicted of the crime and the conviction was subsequently vacated
Persons who were convicted of a criminal act and
The person is NOT a sex or violent offender
The person was convicted of a MISDEAMEANOR or CLASS D FELONY that DID NOT RESULT IN INJURY to a person; or
Eight years have passed
The person has not been convicted of a felony since completed the sentence/additionally, if more than 15 years have elapsed.
Remember this is FREE, you can do this yourself. This is not rocket science, our legislatives has made this very simple to do. Mr. K. Jones stated “that he has had his life cleaned up since 1997, and knows how hunting this has been for him”. Mr. Jones also stated” that this would be a big load off his back; that he can now move forward and provide for him and his wife, on a greater financial scale”. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that if you want a change for yourself, you must seek change with a sense of urgency, it is only your life…
Again in the words of Emmitt Till’s mother Mamie Bradley, “What happens to any of us, anywhere in the world, had better be the business of us all”. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others”? (Martin Lutheran King Jr.) Remember in spite of what you see, walk by FAITH, that GOD is good all the time and all the time GOD is good, keep your head-up and may GOD continue to BLESS you, your grassroots Civil Rights Activist/LaLeta…
Uncut Special Presentation—From time to time, Frost Illustrated exercises its commitment to present voices straight from the community. Oftentimes, those voices insist on getting across a totally uncensored message to preserve their cadence and context. In an effort to honor such voices, we offer the following Uncut Special Presentation unedited and written exactly as the presenter intended. (Note: Uncut Special Presentations still must adhere to rules regarding slander and libel.)
This article originally appeared in the June 5, 2013 print edition.