New Expanded Expungement Law in Ohio

Ohio record expungement law Matt Mishak attorney Lorain County Elyria North Ridgeville

New Expanded Expungement Law in Ohio

In Ohio, 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! Ohio is officially expanding its expungement law, effective October 29, 2018.


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.


road rage Mishak Law blog road safety

Guilty of Road Rage? 3 Ways it Can Get You Arrested

Ever find yourself experiencing “road rage”?


I believe we’ve all been guilty of it at one point. This quick primer lets you know how to avoid getting yourself into trouble when those feelings start to overcome you while driving in traffic. 

There is perhaps no other incident quite like road rage in which an everyday ordinary person with no history of violent behavior can suddenly get arrested for a felony.

Perhaps it’s because people are emboldened when they encase themselves in their cars that manners are thrown out and tempers are escalated.


Regardless of the reason, here are three reasons to keep your road rage in check, as your actions can get you arrested:



You’ve heard or seen this scenario before: A car cut someone off, and the victim of the cut-off acts as if his manhood and everything about him has been questioned. So the victim of the cut-off tailgates the other vehicle until they both stop and a standoff ensues. Often a weapon will be involved — typically whatever is within reach, as recent road-rage cases involving pepper spray, baseball bats, and guns have shown.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon.

It’s not just guns that can get you in trouble. Don’t look now, but you’re driving a potentially deadly weapon every time you get behind the wheel of your car. That’s why so many suspects in road rage cases get charged with assault with a deadly weapon when they try to run over someone or ram their car into the other person’s vehicle.


The peaceful way to resolve a traffic incident is not to tailgate, wave a gun or finger menacingly, or shout obscenities at the other driver. This behavior can technically be considered distracted driving. In addition, this behavior may be considered illegal harassment depending on how far you take your shouting and gesturing.

There’s something about the anonymity and protective cocoon of a car that leads otherwise civil people to flip the bird at other civil people.

The next time you are confronted with an angry driver or are angered by a bad driver, just remember that road rage isn’t worth an arrest. Try to turn the other cheek and even apologize, if that will defuse the situation.

Driving is not a time to test your manhood.

Originally published on FindLaw 

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