record expungement Ohio new law October 2018 record sealing Mishak Law Matthew Mishak Attorney Lorain County Elyria North Ridgeville Northeast Ohio

Updated April 2021

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 April 12, 2021, you may expunge:

  • an unlimited number of felonies of the fourth and fifth degree, or
  • two felonies of the third-degree*, or
  • one felony of the third degree and one felony of the fourth or fifth-degree*, or
  • unlimited misdemeanors as long as none of the offenses are prohibited offenses such as crimes of violence or a violation of section 2921.43 of the Revised Code.

*can have no more than four misdemeanors in addition to these felonies.
(Note: these four or less misdemeanors can also be expunged). 

 

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

When you may apply:

At the expiration of one year after the offender’s final discharge if convicted of unlimited felonies of the fourth or fifth degree or a misdemeanor, so long as none of the offenses is a violation of section 2921.43 of the Revised Code.

At the expiration of three years after the offender’s final discharge if convicted of a felony of the third degree, so long as none of the offenses is a violation of section 2921.43 of the Revised Code, and you have no more than two felony convictions and no more than four misdemeanor convictions,

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.

Note: F3s are expungeable under most circumstances and as long as they are not a crime of violence. 

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: FindLaw.com and ExpungementOhio.com


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

 

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