Expungement or Sealing of Criminal Records

Call Portage County, Ohio expungement lawyer today to get a quote on an expungement from convictions in Kent and Ravenna.

Great news for those who are looking to erase criminal convictions from public records.  Ohio law has just changed to allow more people with criminal convictions that are eligible for expungement.  Ohio law now allows for eligible offenders of certain crimes to seal their criminal records.  You must be a “eligible offender” meaning that you can have one misdemeanor and one felony, two misdemeanors or one conviction only- felony or misdemeanor.  If you were charged and convicted of multiple crimes arising out of the same incident, all of those crimes may fit under the same conviction.  Minor traffic offenses and minor misdemeanors are not considered convictions for purposes of determining whether an offender is a “eligible offender.”

Ohio law prohibits certain crimes from being sealed.  These include:

  • OMVI
  • OMVI Suspension
  • Drag Racing
  • Hit & Skip
  • Hit & Skip with injury to person
  • Hit & Skip with property damage
  • Master key sale or possession
  • Motor vehicle concealed identity
  • Violations of the odometer rollback and Disclosure Act
  • Any substantially similar municipal offense.
  • Domestic violence that is a felony or misdemeanor of the first degree
  • An offense of violence that is a felony or misdemeanor of the first degree
  • Any offense that is a first or second degree felony
  • Most sex offenses
  • Certain bail forfeitures
  • Most traffic offenses

Even if you are convicted of one these crimes not eligible for expungement, other convictions may be expunged if you are an “eligible offender.”

If you are eligible for expungement, you must wait one year after the final discharge of a misdemeanor conviction, unless the offense is a minor misdemeanor and three years after the final discharge of a felony conviction.  Calculating the time of the final discharge of the conviction can be tricky.  There is no final discharge until the sentence has been completed.  That means the one year clock does not start running until all probation is served, suspended sentences are complete and all the conditions of the sentence are complete.

If eligible, a petition may be filed in the court where you were convicted.  After the petition is filed, the probation will conduct an investigation into the petition.  The prosecutor may object to your petition.  The Court will hold a hearing, and determine whether you are eligible for expungement based on Ohio law.  The Court has discretion in determining whether to grant and expungement petition.  It is not automatic.  Generally, an offender should be able to show the court they are rehabilitated since the conviction and that no government interest is being served by maintaining the records.

If your conviction is expunged, the offense will be deemed to not have occurred.  Certain exceptions apply, such as the right of certain governmental agencies to inspect records for various purposes such as employment and licensing.

Expungement law can be complex from the process to what happens after a petition is granted.  An attorney will help you through the process and will be able to advise on your rights post petition.  If you do not know what these rights are, you may be wasting your time and money.

Call our office today for a quote. Many of these services can be done on a flat fee. Call today for a free consultation.