Expungement is the sealing of a criminal record so it is not publicly available. The statutes authorizing expungement are Ohio Revised Code sections 2953.32 & 2953.52. This area of the law changes often, and it will be necessary for you to retain the services of an attorney to see if you qualify for an expungement and file the necessary paperwork.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why get an expungement?
- There are several very good reasons to seek to expunge a criminal record. When you apply for some jobs, apartments, and licenses they will look at your criminal record. If you have a conviction on your record, it is unlikely that you will be chosen for the job, given the apartment to rent, or allowed to get a license. When you appear as a witness in court, you may be asked about your past criminal record. If you have a conviction, your testimony may be questioned or disregarded.
- After expungement is finished, when asked about your past criminal record, you can honestly say that you have none. You can act as if the arrest and conviction never took place.
- If my record is expunged, does that mean that no one can find out about my case?
- No. Even if your record is sealed, certain individuals may still have access to the information:
- Law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and other agencies can look at your sealed record;
- If you commit another crime - your sealed record can still be used against you in sentencing.
- Are there misdemeanor convictions which can’t be expunged?
- Yes. The following case are not eligible to be expunged:
- Sexual Imposition
- Obscenity involving a minor
- All driver's license violations
- Traffic violations (like OVI and moving violations)
- Bail forfeitures in traffic cases
- Misdemeanors of the first degree where the victim is under 18