In October 2018, the Ohio expungment law was expanded to allow the sealing of unlimited misdemeanor offenses and up to five fourth and fifth degree felonies. This new law dramatically increases the number of people eligible to seal their arrest and conviction records. Commonly known as expungement, it's now called sealing of a record in Ohio.
Even if you’ve been turned down in the past, you may be eligible now. It is important to seek the advice of an attorney who is experienced in sealing criminal records in order to find out if your particular situation meets the eligibility requirements. Give me a call to find out for sure.
The wait time before you can apply depends on what you’re trying to seal. The wait time starts once you’ve completed all the requirements of your sentence (typically probation, paying all fines and court costs):
- Misdemeanors - one year
- One F4/F5 Felony - three years
- Two F4/F5 Felonies - four years
- Three to Five F4/F5 Felonies - five years
These new laws will not apply to anyone with a F3 or higher felony conviction or those with a conviction which includes a sexual or violent offense, regardless if the result was a felony or misdemeanor.
Why Seal Your Record?
Sealing a criminal record will give you a fresh start and will remove many obstacles you've been facing because of your past conviction.
A few of the many benefits of sealing a criminal record are:
- Record no longer be available to the public.
- Restore rights and privileges that were not terminated upon completion of the sentence or parole.
- No requirement to disclose a criminal record when applying for employment.
- No requirement to disclose the conviction when applying for housing.
- No requirement to disclose a sealed record when submitting educational applications.
How Does it Work?
You have to file an application with the court and submit a filing fee of $50. Once an application has been filed, the court will set a hearing date. The prosecutor may file an objection to the granting of the application. If the prosecutor has made an objection, she must specify her reasons why the application should be denied.
At the hearing, or upon an objection from the prosecution, the court will determine whether the applicant is eligible, whether criminal proceedings are currently pending against the applicant, whether the applicant has been sufficiently rehabilitated to the court’s satisfaction, consider the prosecution’s objections, and weigh the applicant’s interests to have the record sealed against the legitimate needs of the government to keep the records. Once the court has considered the application, and decided the offender’s record should be sealed, the court will order all official records pertaining to the case sealed, and the proceedings will be considered to not have occurred.
Under Ohio Rev. Code § 2953.36, a person is NOT eligible to have their record sealed if they were convicted of any of the following offenses, including, but not limited to:
- First or Second Degree Felony Convictions
- Convictions requiring a mandatory prison term
- Sexual Battery
- Most Sex Offenses
- Sexual Imposition
- Pandering Obscenity Involving a Minor
- Pandering Sexually Oriented Matter Involving a Minor
- Illegal Use of a Minor in Nudity-Oriented Material
- Violent Offenses that were misdemeanors of the first degree or felonies
- Inciting to Violence
- Inducing Panic
- Voyeurism when Victim Under 18
- Public Indecency when Victim Under 18
- Promoting Prostitution when Victim Under 18
- Procuring when Victim Under 18
- Disseminating Harmful Material to Juvenile
- Displaying Matter Harmful to Juveniles
- Pandering Obscenity when Victim Under 18
- Convictions for a misdemeanor of the first degree or felony when victim was under 18
Get in touch immediately to discuss the sealing of your record. Call 216 592-8573 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org