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Expanded Expungement Law in Ohio

In Ohio, an expungement is the same as sealing a record.


Expungement is a legal process provided under Section 2953 of the Ohio Revised Code that allows one to have any and all references to a prior criminal conviction cleared and their court file sealed. The result of this process is as if you were never convicted of the crime.


BIG NEWS! As of October 29, 2018, Ohio officially expanded its expungement law.


The new expungement law allows for a review for a person with up to five F4/F5 felonies and/or unlimited misdemeanors.

According to the new statutory makeup in ORC § 2953.32, persons with non-violent, non-sexual misdemeanors and/or felonies up to F4 or F5 may now be eligible for their records to be sealed by a court in Ohio.

Individuals who previously did not qualify to have records sealed might be eligible.

This new expungement law allows for the possibility of all records to be sealed.


There are still waiting periods related to the expungement requests following discharge:


  • Misdemeanors require a one year waiting period.
  • One F4/F5 Felony requires a three-year waiting period.
  • Two F4/F5 Felonies require a four-year waiting period.
  • Three to Five F4/F5 Felonies require a five-year waiting period.


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 of the result being a felony or a misdemeanor.

The court, of course, has the discretion to determine if a person qualifies for expungement of their criminal record.

Additionally, the prosecutor will be notified of the request and has the ability to object to records being sealed during a scheduled hearing.


Who is eligible for an expungement?


You qualify if you meet all of the conditions described in Section 2953 of the Ohio Revised Code, including:

  • The conviction you are trying to expunge is not one of the crimes precluded by law.
  • You were not subject to a mandatory prison term for the conviction.  (If you were sentenced to prison time, but you were eligible for community control/probation, you would still qualify.)
  • You have any of the following convictions or combination of convictions: one misdemeanor; or one felony; two misdemeanor convictions; or one misdemeanor conviction and one felony conviction.   (A series of 2 or 3 convictions out of the same case shall be considered one conviction under the expungement statute.) (Minor misdemeanors including most traffic offenses do not count as a conviction.)
  • The statutory waiting period has passed for the conviction you seek to expunge.
  • You have no current or criminal charges pending against you. 


Can’t I just represent myself and save money?


Expungement requires drafting and filing of a motion (a formal legal document asking the court to take a particular action). The expungement motion will be filed with the court that sentenced you, and it will also have to be served on the prosecutor in some cases, and the probation department.

At the expungement hearing, oral or non-oral, the court must be convinced through persuasion and demonstration that your rehabilitation has been obtained and that you are deserving of an expungement.

An expungement is a privilege and not a right. 

The court may deny your expungement if they question that you have met all the qualifications under the Ohio Revised Code, or the court is not satisfied that you have been rehabilitated.


Legal Reference:

If you would like to learn if you are eligible or request additional expungement law information, contact Attorney Mishak today.


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Divorce in Ohio: Key Information

When thinking about divorce, there are lots of things to consider.

Rest easy, Mishak Law can help. Here are a few key points concerning divorce in Ohio. 


What are the grounds for divorce in Ohio?

Ohio is a mixed state. This means that you can use either fault or no-fault grounds as the basis for seeking a divorce. You might consider using fault grounds is to gain an advantage in a contested child custody case or a dispute about the division of marital property or the appropriateness or amount of alimony.


What is the residency requirement for divorce in Ohio?

At least one spouse must be a resident of Ohio for six months before filing for divorce.


How is property divided at divorce in Ohio?

Ohio is an equitable division state. In an equitable division state, each spouse owns the income he or she earns during the marriage and also has the right to manage any property that’s in his or her name alone. But at divorce, whose name is on what property isn’t the only deciding factor.

The judge will generally start with a presumption that property will be divided equally, and then will listen to arguments from the spouses (if any) about why a different division would be more fair. The judge will divide marital property in a way that the judge considers fair, but the property division may not necessarily be exactly equal.


What are the rules about child custody in Ohio?

Like all states, Ohio courts begin with a presumption that it’s best for a child to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after a divorce. If possible, judges want to support joint custody arrangements. However, the exact nature of the time-share will be determined by the children’s best interests.


What are the rules about child support in Ohio?

Like all states, Ohio requires both parents to support their children, even after a divorce. The amount of child support depends primarily on each parent’s income and other resources, and how much time each parent spends with the children. In addition, sometimes the courts will “impute” income to a parent who has the capacity to earn more than he or she actually is earning.


Do you Still have questions? Contact Mishak Law today to schedule your no-obligation consultation.
Attorney Mishak will help you every step of the way.

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Ohio Cannabis & DUI / OVI Law Overview

Stay informed by brushing up on Ohio’s cannabis and DUI / OVI laws so you’re familiar with the penalties you could face if you’re busted behind the wheel. 

Ohio Cannabis & DUI / OVI Law Overview

No person shall operate any vehicle if, at the time, the person has a concentration of marijuana in their system in the following amounts:

Substance Urine Blood
Marijuana 10 ng/mL 2 ng/mL
Marijuana metabolite 35 ng/mL 50 ng/mL
Marijuana metabolite with other drugs/alcohol 15 ng/mL 5 ng/mL

If a person has obtained a prescription issued by a licensed health professional, it is considered a valid defense; however, a doctor’s recommendation for medical cannabis does not constitute a prescription.


Whole blood, blood serum, plasma, breath, urine, or other bodily substance


  • 1st offense: 1st degree misdemeanor, mandatory minimum of three days up to 6 months in jail, an intervention program, or both; judge may suspend jail sentence in lieu of a community control sanction and a driver’s intervention program; $375 to $1075 fine, driver’s license suspension for six months up to three years, driver may apply for IID to reduce period of suspension.
  • 2nd offense (within 10 years): 1st degree misdemeanor, mandatory minimum of 10 days up to six months in jail, sentence may consist of both jail time and house arrest with electronic monitoring and continuous alcohol monitoring; must be assessed by community addiction services provider, $525 up to $1,625 fine, driver’s license revocation for one to seven years, vehicle shall be impounded for 90 day.
  • 3rd offense (within 10 years): Misdemeanor, mandatory minimum of 30 days up to one year in jail, sentence may consist of both a jail term and house arrests with continuous alcohol monitoring, $850 up to $2,750 fine, court shall order participation in a community addiction services provider, driver’s license revocation for two years to 12 years, during which the offender’s vehicle shall be criminally forfeited.
  • 4th and 5th offenses (within 20 years): 4th degree felony, mandatory minimum of 60 days, no more than one to five years’ maximum imprisonment, mandatory participation in a community addiction services provider, $1,350 to $10,500 fine, driver’s license revocation for three years to life, vehicle may be criminally forfeited.
  • 6th offense: 3rd-degree felony, mandatory minimum of 120 days up to five years in jail, $1,350 to $10,500 fine, indefinite license revocation, mandatory participation in an addiction services program, the vehicle may be criminally forfeited.

For more information, please refer to Ohio Rev. Code, Title 45, Chapter 4511.49.


Charged with a DUI / OVI in Lorain County? Attorney Mishak can help! Contact him today for a consultation to see how.

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