How to Expunge or Seal a Criminal Record in Ohio

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Having a criminal record can affect your life in your community. With a criminal record, you may have limited housing, education, and work options. In Ohio, if you wish to remove your prior criminal convictions from your official record, it is referred to as the “Sealing of Record of Conviction.” While other states differentiate between a sealed and expunged record, they are essentially identical in Ohio. Charges that may be sealed can include both criminal records and dismissed charges, acquittal, juvenile charges, and bail forfeitures. When your record is sealed in Ohio, a background check will not display your past charges, and you may be able to answer “no” on applications that ask you about any prior convictions. There are a few key steps required to expunge or seal a criminal record in Ohio, as listed below. 

  • Determine Eligibility

Not all people who have a criminal record are eligible for expungement. In Ohio, to be an eligible offender, you must not have more than one single felony conviction, two misdemeanor convictions of different offenses, or a combination of greater than one felony and one misdemeanor. Further, there are time periods for how long you must wait before filing for expungement depending on your charge. Lastly, not all charges may be expunged. Offenses ineligible for expungement may include but are not limited to sexual battery, rape, license suspension or revocation, motor vehicle crimes, and crimes of violence excluding first-degree misdemeanors of assault, inciting violence, rioting, or inducing panic. 

  • File an Application

After determining your eligibility, you must apply for expungement with the court where you were convicted. The filing process for expungement in Ohio may differ depending on what county you were charged in, so it could help to work with a knowledgeable attorney in the filing process.

  • Court Review and Hearing

After you’ve filed for record expungement in Ohio, the court must go through a review process to ensure that you are truly eligible for expungement. You may file a response if objected, but reversing an objection is complicated and may require attorney assistance. If your eligibility is confirmed, you will be scheduled for a hearing. At this hearing, a judge will determine whether expungement is warranted. 

  • Official Ruling

Frequently, a judge will have an official ruling decision on the same day of your hearing. Their ruling will be based on arguments made and evidence provided. If the judge approves expungement, government agencies will be notified, and your record sealing process will begin.

Hire an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Criminal convictions can be detrimental to your community life. To identify whether you may qualify for record expungement in Ohio, work with an experienced criminal defense attorney. The lawyers at The VanNoy Firm are knowledgeable in the record sealing and expungement process and will guide you through all the requirements. To talk to one of our attorneys about your prospective criminal record expungement in Ohio, contact us today. 



About The Author

Anthony S. VanNoy

Trial Attorney

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