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Sealing Your Criminal Records in Ohio

Recent changes may allow you to seal your criminal records.

In September 2012, Ohio changed its statute effecting who may apply to have their records sealed.   Sealing of conviction records, like expungement, is “an act of grace created by the state, and so is a privilege, not a right.”  State v. Hamilton 75 Ohio St.3d 636, 639 (1996).

Previously, Ohio only permitted a “first offender” to apply to seal his/her conviction record.  Now, the current version of the Ohio Revised Code § 2953.32 allows an “eligible offender” to apply to seal his/her criminal conviction records.    An “eligible offender” is defined as anyone who has been convicted of an offense in Ohio or another jurisdiction, and anyone who does not have more than one felony conviction and one misdemeanor conviction.  O.R.C. § 2953.31(A).

An “eligible offender” may apply to seal his/her records at the expiration of three years after the final discharge of a felony, or at the expiration of the final discharge of a misdemeanor.

For more information, contact our office at 614-534-1355.

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