Expunging A Criminal Record
Criminal charges or a conviction on your record can lead to negative consequences for years after your case is closed. A conviction can prevent you from getting a better, higher-paying job. A record of criminal charges or a conviction could make it more difficult to get a car loan or a mortgage. You may, however, be eligible to have a record of criminal charges or conviction sealed or expunged.
Under specific conditions, Section 2953 of the Ohio Criminal Code allows a person with criminal charges or a conviction to expunge the record or seal it from public view. The rules for expunging a record are strict, and only certain offenses are eligible. Some of these offenses include:
- Misdemeanors: Upon satisfactory completion of the jail sentence, probation, fines and restitution; a minimum one-year wait following the completion of the sentence; and no further criminal charges pending
- Felonies, if victim is over 18 years of age: Upon satisfactory completion of the sentence, parole or probation, fines and restitution; a minimum three-year waiting period; and no further criminal charges pending. If your conviction carried a mandatory prison sentence, you will not be eligible for expungement.
In addition, some types of offenses are not eligible for expungement or sealing of criminal records, including:
- Rape, sexual battery
- Sexual imposition
- Sex crimes involving a minor, corrupting a minor
- Motor vehicle traffic and driver's license offenses
Record sealing is not limited only to convictions.
When a case results in a dismissal or even a not guilty verdict, many people believe that the charge is no longer on their records. However, the record of the charge remains unless it is sealed. Potential employers are often not well versed enough in the legal distinctions between a dismissal, acquittal, or conviction, and will view all three situations in the same manner - as a conviction. By sealing the record that you were ever charged with a crime, you can avoid this potential confusion.
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Each case is different and other criteria may apply. If you have a criminal charge or conviction in Ohio and think you may qualify to have your record expunged or sealed, turn to an expungement attorney at our firm. We have lawyers that you can rely on for help. Call or send an email to Wolfe Law Group, LLC, with offices in Columbus. We offer a free initial case evaluation and you can contact us anytime of the day or night to leave a message. After reviewing your circumstances, we will give you an honest assessment of whether you qualify. If you retain us as your law firm, you can count on aggressive representation to help you put your past behind you.