Expungement or the legal sealing of an adult criminal record.
A criminal record can create difficult downstream consequences, whether the record is for having been arrested or convicted (or both).
For example, employers and landlords commonly ask job applicants and rental applicants whether they have ever been convicted of (or perhaps even arrested for) a criminal offense. Employers might not hire—and landlords might not rent to—people who answer “yes” to these questions.
The good news is that, in some cases, you may be able to get an arrest or conviction expunged from your record.
What is Expungement?
Expungement is the legal process through which an arrest or conviction may be erased from a person’s criminal record. While law enforcement officials may always have access to your criminal history, expungement can keep your record clean in the eyes of employers, schools, and the general public.
While specific expungement rules can vary depending on your jurisdiction, generally speaking, there are a few factors that will determine if you are eligible for expungement:
- The nature and severity of the crime for which expungement is sought
- The amount of time since the arrest or conviction
- The applicant’s criminal record
- The severity and nature of other events in the applicant’s criminal record
Other limiting factors may be the applicant’s age at the time of the crime (some jurisdictions only allow for expungement of juvenile records), and the ultimate resolution of the charges (some jurisdictions only allow expungement for cases resolved before convictions at trial).
Expungement in Ohio
Even if you qualify for an expungement in Ohio, it doesn’t happen automatically.
You will normally have to fill out an application or a petition, pay a filing fee, and submit the paperwork to a court for judicial review. Even then, not all expungement petitions are granted.
While most jurisdictions don’t require you to have a lawyer to get your record expunged, navigating the eligibility and filing requirements can be complicated.
Attorney Mishak will be able to tell you if you qualify for an expungement in Ohio and how the process works.
For more information and/or to see if you are eligible to have your record expunged, contact Attorney Mishak today.