Record Sealing or Expungement in Cincinnati, Ohio
We tend to focus on the statutory penalties of a crime when discussing a person’s defense. However, it’s important to understand that there are a lot of collateral post-conviction consequences an individual must face if they’ve been convicted of a criminal offense in Ohio. They often have limited employment and housing prospects to choose from once they’re released and may have difficulty applying for higher education or a professional license.
With these conditions looming over your head, it can feel as if your criminal past will forever haunt you thanks to your public record. Fortunately, the state of Ohio does offer options to offenders who are eligible. If you qualify, you may be able to “seal” your criminal record. Sealing a criminal record completely erases it from the general public, which includes most employers and educational institutions.
Record sealing is available in Ohio, but it’s not open to all convicted offenders. It’s important to consult with an experienced Cincinnati criminal defense attorney so they can determine if you’re eligible for a record seal.
Cincinnati Expungement Attorney | Criminal Record Sealing, Ohio
Are you interested in sealing or expunging your record? Contact Joslyn Law Firm at (513) 399-9289 to set up your first consultation as soon as possible. Our attorneys collectively have decades of experience we can put to use for your case. We understand how stressful it can be to live with a conviction on your record and want to do everything we can in our power to help you move on from your past. Start a better and brighter future now with Joslyn Law Firm on your side.
Joslyn Law Firm is located in Cincinnati and accepts clients throughout the greater Hamilton County, Ohio area. We also have offices in Dayton and Columbus Ohio and serve a variety of counties throughout the entire state.
- Is It Better to Seal or Expunge My Record?
- Can I Seal My Records in Ohio?
- Who Can See My Records?
- Additional Resources
Is it Better to Seal or Expunge My Record?
You may have heard the terms “expungement” and “seal” or “record seal” tossed around on courtroom dramas and TV shows. Although both of these terms are relevant in other states, in the state of Ohio there is no statute for expunctions. They only offer criminal record seals to individuals that qualify. If you’re able to seal your record, most people and entities including employers and licensing agencies will be unable to access it.
The laws regarding sealing your criminal record are located under Ohio Rev. Code § 2953.32. If you wish to successfully petition for a record seal, you must first meet the following criteria.
- You’re a first-time criminal offender.
- If you were convicted of a felony, it’s been three years since you completed all the terms and conditions of your sentence.
- If you were convicted of a misdemeanor, it’s been one year since you completed all the terms and conditions of your sentence.
- You were charged but found not guilty or you were acquitted. When this occurs, all the records associated with the charges can be sealed immediately after dismissal.
- You were arrested for a misdemeanor and has affected bail forfeiture may have their record sealed one year after bail forfeiture was entered
- You have no other criminal proceedings pending against you
It’s important to understand if you were convicted of certain charges your petition to seal your record will be automatically rejected. Under Section 2953.36 of the Ohio Revised Code, you cannot seal your criminal record if you were convicted of any of the following:
- Sexual battery
- Sexual imposition
- Voyeurism when the victim is under 18
- Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor
- Pandering obscenity involving a minor
- Procuring a victim under the age of 18
- Pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor
- Promoting prostitution when victim is under the age 18
- Public indecency when victim is under 18
- Gross sexual imposition
- Illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material
- Disseminating harmful material to juveniles
- Displaying matter harmful to juveniles
- Violent crimes classified as a first-degree misdemeanor or a felony
- First-degree misdemeanors and felony offenses with a minor victim
- First or second-degree felony convictions
- Inciting to violence
- Inducing panic
- Any offense that requires a mandatory prison term
Can I Seal My Criminal Records in Ohio?
If you want to seal your criminal record successfully, you’ll have to follow the steps highlighted under section 2953.32 of the Ohio Revised Code. The first step you’ll have to consider after filing out the petition for a record seal is the cost of sealing your record. You’ll have to pay the court clerk a $50 filling fee for your petition. Once you’ve filed the petition, the court will send you a date and time for a scheduled hearing.
The court clerk will also notify the prosecutor for your former charges/conviction of the hearing. They will be given an opportunity to attend and object to the granting of the petition prior to the hearing date. They must cite specific reasons why the petition should be denied.
When reviewing your petition for a record seal, the court will consider the following:
- If you were a first-time offender
- If there are any criminal proceedings pending against you
- If you were rehabilitated
- Any of the prosecution’s objections if they provide any
- If your interests in having your record sealed outweigh the legitimate need the government has to keep records
Who Can See Sealed Records in Ohio?
There are many benefits to sealing your criminal record in Ohio. Some of these include:
- You no longer have to disclose your record when searching for employment
- You no longer have to disclose your record when applying for educational programs
- Your rights and privileges will be restored if they weren’t reinstated prior
- The record won’t be available to most of the public
There are certain situations where you will need to disclose your sealed criminal record. These instances are highlighted under Section 2953.32 of the Ohio Revised Code and they include:
- When requested by law enforcement agencies and the bureau of criminal identification/investigation for specific limited scenarios
- If you’re involved in any subsequent criminal proceeding
- If someone requests it who was involved in the adjudication of criminal proceedings
- If you’re applying to a job with a law enforcement agency
Record Sealing or Expungement Laws in Ohio– Access the site to visit the official website for Chapter 2953 of the Ohio Revised Code, which provides the Ohio laws regarding criminal record sealing and other post-conviction remedies. Access the site to learn more about the eligibility requirements for sealing a criminal record.
Department of Rehabilitation and Correction | Ohio DRC– Access the official site for the Department of Rehabilitation or Correction, which is a state governmental department that supervises criminal offenders. The program seeks to instill in convicted offenders an improved sense of responsibility and the ability to become a productive member of society.
Record Sealing Lawyer, Hamilton County | Ohio Expungement Laws
If you or someone you know is interested in sealing their criminal record, call Joslyn Law Firm today. Our experienced Cincinnati record sealing lawyers understand the ins and outs of Ohio’s laws. We can utilize our thorough knowledge of record sealing as well as our years of practice to help you move past your criminal past and onto a more promising future. Call Joslyn Law Firm today at (513) 399-9289 to schedule your first consultation free of charge.
Joslyn Law Firm is located in Cincinnati, but we accept clients throughout Montgomery County, Hamilton County, Clark County, Greene County, Miami County, amongst others in the state of Ohio.