First, I would like to take this opportunity to say how proud I am of the state of Indiana for passing an amendment to an already perceived liberal law. Historically, the state is known for its’ very conservative views, including issuing a professional licensure to those with criminal records. I took part in a pre-trail diversion program, so my situation was a little different compared to others who faced the board. Because I was arrested, but not technically convicted, I was still required to answer yes to the criminal history section of the application. Although I had some hiccups when first obtaining my licensure, I was able to get the decision reversed upon appeal. I have been working as an RN with an unrestricted license since.
The board’s primary responsibility is to protect the citizens from the likes of nurses like Kristen Gilbert. I agree with the stance and vision and I completely support it. However, does that mean we should exclude everyone who has a criminal record from any profession so as long an acceptable time frame has passed and the person has demonstrated responsibility since the last conviction? Do people change? I believe in my heart and from personal experience that people change. If we have no faith in the human kind, what do we have? I am NOT an attorney! This is meant for educational information only! One should always consult with a lawyer for advise of how to handle their own unique situation.
Here is a link to the newly written law for the state of Indiana http://in.gov/legislative/bills/2013/HE/HE1482.1.html
Here are the highlights:
- According to the new law, one who was convicted of a misdemeanor or a class D felony that was reduced to a misdemeanor, may petition for an expungement after 5 years from date of conviction.
- Those who were convicted of a felony, but whose sentence WAS NOT reduced to a misdemeanor may petition for an expungement after 8 years from date of conviction. There are exceptions outlined in Section 4(b) 1-5.
- Those who were convicted of a felony including those outlined in Section 4(b) 1-5 may petition for an expungement after 10 years from date of conviction.
Wait for it……..
Here is the golden ticket1 Sec. 10. (a) It is unlawful discrimination for any person to:
(3) refuse to employ;
(4) refuse to admit;
(5) refuse to grant or renew a license, permit, or certificate necessary to engage in any activity, occupation, or profession; or
(6) otherwise discriminate against;
any person because of a conviction or arrest record expunged or sealed under this chapter.
(b) The civil rights of a person whose conviction has been expunged shall be restored, including the right to vote, to hold public office, to serve as a juror, and, to the extent not prohibited by federal law, to own or possess a firearm.
(c) In any application for employment, a license, or other right or privilege, a person may be questioned about a previous criminal record only in terms that exclude expunged convictions or arrests, such as: "Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime that has not been expunged by a court?".
I have attached the new Indiana state nursing applications (By examination and endorsement) for your review. The application has been updated. I have read on the site of those who were unable to obtain a nursing license because of criminal records, most of which were a decade or more old. One should review this information with an attorney to see if they are eligible under the new Indiana law.