How to get an expungement and am I eligible?

How to get an expungement and am I eligible?

Expungement Blog Post

What Does an “Expungement” Mean?

Expungement means that your record is sealed but not totally deleted. If your record is expunged, when you apply for most jobs or for housing you don’t have to disclose your conviction, arrest, or charge.

Even if a record is expunged, some offenses may prevent you from getting a job caring for children, older persons or developmentally handicapped persons, in Head Start or Social Security, or in jobs that have a substantial connection with your offense. An example would be a cashier’s job and petty theft. You must report expunged records when enlisting in the military.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation keeps your record, even if it has been sealed. It will be available to some employers of some jobs and to law enforcement officers if you are charged with a crime later.

Who is Eligible for an Expungement?

If you are a first-time offender who has only one conviction for either a felony or a misdemeanor and who has no charge pending, you may be eligible for an expungement.

You cannot expunge a conviction for sex crimes, traffic offenses, crimes of violence, and first or second degree felonies. If two or more convictions are connected with the same act, they count as one conviction.

When Can You File?

• FELONY: You must wait at least three years from the time you are off probation, parole, or straight release from prison and after all court costs and any fines, restitution, or community service have been paid or completed.

• MISDEMEANOR: You must wait at least one year from the time you were convicted and were off probation, parole, or straight release from prison and after all court costs and any fines, restitution, or community service have been paid or completed.

• ARRESTED BUT NOT INDICTED: You must wait at least two years from the time that a grand jury failed to indict you and the jury’s report of “no bill” was returned.

• NOT GUILTY OR NOLLED: You can file any time after you were found not guilty, your case was nolled, or your case was dismissed and that information has been recorded in the court’s journal. In these situations, you would apply to have your record sealed.

Does Everyone Get an Expungement?

No. The prosecutor may object. It is up to the court to decide whether to grant an expungement.

What about Arrest Records?

If you were arrested, but were never charged and never went to court, you can ask to have your arrest record sealed by writing a letter to the chief of police in the community where you were arrested. The chief is more likely to seal your record if several years have passed since your arrest.

With your letter, you need to enclose a copy of your arrest record. Your letter should explain the reason why you want your arrest record sealed. For instance, you might say you want your record cleared so that you can get a better job or housing. Legal Aid will help you prepare the letter.

An arrest record can hurt you as much as a record of conviction. Therefore, it is important to try to get it sealed.

Do you still have questions? If so contact a Portage County Attorney at Giulietto Law for a FREE Consultation today!

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