Eric David is a native Hoosier and with a broad range of professional experience in the US and China. He is a trained social worker and a licensed attorney in Indiana and New York.
Since finishing his undergraduate studies at Purdue University, he has worked for non-profits, government agencies, private firms, and international institutions.
In all his work, he is passionate about helping his clients solve problems and be the best they can be. Mr. David resides in Indianapolis with his partner and their two greyhounds.
REDUCING FELONY CONVICTIONS IN INDIANA
Nobody Wants a Felony on Their Criminal Record
There isn’t anyone who wants a criminal record, especially if that record is a felony conviction. A felony on your record can make getting a decent job our housing nearly impossible. A felony conviction will also almost always take away your Second Amendment right to own a gun as well. Once you’ve finished your sentence and paid your debt to society, you shouldn’t be permanently branded and punished, and that’s exactly what a felony conviction can do to you.
Indiana law permits the expungement of felony convictions, but the waiting periods are typically eight to 10 years unless you get the prosecutor to agree to shorten the period. Fortunately, you can reduce many felonies in as little as three years after finishing your conviction with fewer requirements.
Reducing a felony conviction to a misdemeanor has many benefits—you’ll no longer be a convicted felon, which makes getting a job or place to live easier. In addition, as long as there isn’t another reason for your firearms rights to be taken away, reducing your felony conviction will usually also restore your firearm rights.
Our law firm has helped thousands of clients get rid of their criminal records, and we hear success stories from them often. If a felony conviction is currently holding you back, keep reading to see if we can help.
This Information is for You
Since the majority of people reading this aren’t lawyers, we’ve tried to simplify the legal jargon on our website, so regular people may follow along and get the information needed to understand their rights. However, before we get started, we should be clear that some of this information can get complicated, and, in many cases, it’s best to seek the assistance of an experienced lawyer.
To help you understand your rights, our lawyers have developed a tool that can be helpful in figuring out your options. This tool can’t be perfectly accurate in every situation, but our lawyers have invested substantial time and resources working to make it as accurate as possible.
You can get started by using our Secure Eligibility Test, or you can give us a call at (844) 947-3732 to see if our legal staff is available for a free consultation. Be aware that our staff is often busy with current clients and a high volume of calls and appointments. If you’re serious about getting rid of your record, your best bet is to take our Secure Eligibility Test and then schedule an appointment to discuss your results and options.
Do You Qualify to Reduce Your Felony Conviction?
Indiana law allows for the reduction of most Class D Felony convictions three years after you complete your sentence. There are a few additional requirements but reducing a felony conviction is typically far more straightforward than obtaining an expungement. In many cases, our clients have reduced felony convictions while they wait to eventually fully expunge their convictions after completing the waiting period.
Requirements to Reduce Felony Conviction
The general requirements to reduce a conviction for a Class D Felony under IC 35-50-2-7 are the following:
- You cannot have any pending criminal charges or criminal proceedings;
- You cannot reduce a Class D Felony that resulted in bodily injury to another person;
- You cannot have conviction for of Perjury (IC 35-44.1-2-1) or Official Misconduct (IC 35-44.1-1-1) on your record;
- You cannot have a conviction for an offense that would categorize you as a Sex or Violent Offender under IC 11-8-8-5, a list of these specific offenses is listed below;
- It has been at least three years since you finished all of the terms of your sentence; and
- You have not been convicted of another felony since finishing the sentence for the felony you’re seeking to reduce.
Felonies Resulting in Bodily Injury
You cannot reduce a felony conviction that resulted in “bodily injury” to another person. The question is what is “bodily injury”? Under Indiana law, bodily injury can be fairly easy to establish. The Indiana Criminal Code defines bodily injury as “any impairment of physical condition, including physical pain.” I.C. 35-31.5-2-29. For our purposes, "bodily injury" also includes "moderate bodily injury," which is defined as “any impairment of physical condition that includes substantial pain” under I.C. 35-31.5-2-204.5.
“Serious Bodily Injury” is defined by IC 35-18.104.22.1682 as “injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious permanent disfigurement; unconsciousness; extreme pain; permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ; or loss of fetus.”
It's important that you spend time evaluating whether your conviction involved “bodily injury” because if it is found to have been involved in your offense, you will not qualify to reduce your felony conviction to a misdemeanor.
List of Prohibited Offenses – “Sex or Violent Offenders”arrow_drop_down
If you’ve been convicted of any of the following criminal offenses, Indiana classifies you as a “sex or violent offender” as defined in IC 11-8-8-5:
- Rape (IC 35-42-4-1)
- Criminal deviate conduct (IC 35-42-4-2) (before its repeal)
- Murder (IC 35-42-1-1)
- Voluntary manslaughter (IC 35-42-1-3)
- Kidnapping (IC 35-42-3-2), if the victim is less than eighteen (18) years of age, and the person who kidnapped the victim is not the victim's parent or guardian
- Criminal confinement (IC 35-42-3-3), if the victim is less than eighteen (18) years of age, and the person who confined or removed the victim is not the victim's parent or guardian
- Promotion of human trafficking under IC 35-42-3.5-1(a)(2)
- Human trafficking under IC 35-42-3.5-1(d)(3) if the victim is less than eighteen (18) years of age
- Child molesting (IC 35-42-4-3)
- Child exploitation (IC 35-42-4-4(b) or IC 35-42-4-4(c))
- Vicarious sexual gratification (including performing sexual conduct in the presence of a minor) (IC 35-42-4-5)
- Child solicitation (IC 35-42-4-6)
- Child seduction (IC 35-42-4-7)
- Incest (IC 35-46-1-3)
- Sexual battery (IC 35-42-4-8)
- Possession of child pornography (IC 35-42-4-4(d) or IC 35-42-4-4(e))
- Promoting prostitution (IC 35-45-4-4) as a Class B felony (for a crime committed before July 1, 2014) or a Level 4 felony (for a crime committed after June 30, 2014)
- Promotion of human trafficking of a minor under IC 35-42-3.5-1(b)(1)(B) or IC 35-42-3.5-1(b)(2)
- Sexual trafficking of a minor (IC 35-42-3.5-1(c))
- Sexual misconduct by a service provider with a detained or supervised child (IC 35-44.1-3-10(c))
- An attempt or conspiracy to commit a crime listed in this subsection
- A crime under the laws of another jurisdiction, including a military court, that is substantially equivalent to any of the offenses listed in this subsection
- Sexual misconduct with a minor (IC 35-42-4-9 ) as a Class A, Class B, or Class C felony (for a crime committed before July 1, 2014) or a Level 1, Level 2, Level 4, or Level 5 felony (for a crime committed after June 30, 2014), unless the person is convicted of sexual misconduct with a minor as a Class C felony (for a crime committed before July 1, 2014) or a Level 5 felony (for a crime committed after June 30, 2014), or the person is not more than four (4) years older than the victim if the offense was committed after June 30, 2007, or five (5) years older than the victim if the offense was committed before July 1, 2007; and the sentencing court finds that the person should not be required to register as a sex offender.
Legal Effects of Reducing a Felony Conviction
How will reducing my felony conviction help me get a job?arrow_drop_down
Unless you have other felonies, after a felony reduction, the restrictions applicable to felons will no longer apply to you, and your criminal record will reflect a misdemeanor conviction. Although a misdemeanor conviction will remain on your record, removing your felony conviction should improve your chances of obtaining a job.
Many of our clients reduce their felony conviction when they do not immediately qualify to expunge their record. Often, they do not qualify to expunge their felony conviction because not enough time has passed since their conviction, so they reduce their felony to a misdemeanor immediately, and then expunge their record once enough time has passed.
Overall, it’s almost always easier to get a job when you’re no longer a felon, so reducing an Indiana felony conviction should help you improve your chances of getting a job more than anything else you can do other than expunging your conviction.
Will reducing my felony conviction restore my Second Amendment rights?arrow_drop_down
In most cases, yes. Unless there is another reason your firearm rights have been taken away, reducing a felony conviction that restricted your firearm rights will restore them.
We will go into more detail regarding restoring Second Amendment rights in Indiana on our Indiana Firearm Rights Restoration page, but restoration typically involves both state and federal law that should be handled by an experienced lawyer. The lawyers in our firm regularly handle complex firearm rights restoration issues, so a good first step in exploring whether you can restore your firearm rights would be to take our Secure Eligibility Test. Then, if appropriate, set up a time to speak with our legal staff about how to proceed.
What You Need to Do to Reduce Your Felony Criminal Conviction
If you are tired of having a criminal record hold you back, reach out to us by taking our Secure Eligibility Test or by giving us a call at (844) 947-3732. Our law firm has helped thousands of people with criminal records move on in life, leaving many of the negative effects of a criminal record behind. Our experienced attorneys and legal staff are here to help you figure out what criminal record clearing services best fit your needs, and then help you accomplish your goals. Using our secure, confidential Eligibility Test is the best way to get the process started.
Some of the potential benefits of reducing your felony conviction in Indiana include
- No longer being considered a felon
- Restoring your Second Amendment right to own a firearm
- Becoming eligible for professional licenses you previously did not qualify for
- Increased eligibility for student loans, housing assistance, and government programs
- Improving your ability to obtain higher-paying job opportunities
- Improving access and admission to college and other educational resources
We Are Here to Help
Each of Indiana’s methods for dealing with your criminal record have different requirements and are meant for different circumstances. To move forward, it’s important to determine what Indiana criminal record services are available to you, and then select the services that will provide the greatest benefit. Eastman Meyler, PC is here to help you navigate this very specific area of Indiana criminal law, fight to protect your rights, and assist you in moving forward in life without the effects of an Indiana criminal record.