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W.R. v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

November 1, 2017

W.R., Appellant-Petitioner,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Respondent

         Appeal from the DeKalb Superior Court The Honorable Kevin P. Wallace, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 17D01-1612-XP-31

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Adam C. Squiller Squiller & Hamilton, LLP Auburn, Indiana

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Henry A. Flores, Jr. Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          May, Judge.

         [¶1] W.R. appeals the partial denial of his petition for expungement. He asserts the trial court abused its discretion when it refused to expunge his felony convictions. We affirm.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶2] On July 7, 1999, W.R. was convicted of two felony charges of dealing drugs. He completed the sentence ordered. On January 16, 2007, W.R. was convicted of misdemeanor operating while intoxicated. On December 16, 2016, W.R. filed a petition for expungement of those convictions and an arrest that did not result in conviction.

         [¶3] On January 24, 2017, the trial court held a hearing on W.R.'s petition. W.R. has worked for a pest control company in Fort Wayne for the last seven years. He now manages the business. Because of his successful completion of probation, the probation department invited him back to speak to youths at a high school. However, due to the felony charges, he is not allowed to personally provide pest control service to some places, such as some of the buildings owned by the City of Fort Wayne. The State did not present evidence or take a position at the hearing.

         [¶4] The trial court granted expungement of the misdemeanor charge and the arrest that did not result in a conviction. The trial court denied W.R.'s petition to expunge the felony convictions because the nature of the convictions, i.e., dealing drugs, might be relevant to businesses deciding whether to exclude persons from their premises.

         Discussion and Decision

         [¶5] The pertinent part of the statute governing W.R.'s expungement petition states:

If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that:
(1) the period required by this section has ...

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