If you have been convicted of an offense- there may be a way to “clear your name”, by way of taking advantage of Ohio’s Expungement Laws.
Our lawyers are familiar with the changing law surrounding expungement and have been helping people start over and obtain a ‘clean slate’ for years. If you don’t know if you qualify for expungement, you do not know how to answer a question from a potential employer regarding your criminal history, or desire to know if you are eligible and when you could file, please call us.
Who can apply for Expungement?
ANSWER: Anyone who is an ELIGIBLE OFFENDER.
Eligible Offenders include those who have been convicted in Ohio or any other jurisdiction for: (i) no more than one (1) felony conviction; OR
(ii) no more than two (2) misdemeanor convictions (if not from the same offense); OR
(iii) no more than one (1) felony conviction and (1) misdemeanor conviction.
When two (2) or more convictions result from or are connected with the same act or result from offenses committed at the same time, they are counted as one conviction.
However, a person charged with two (2) or more offenses as a result of or in connection with the same act cannot apply for expungement if one of the charges has a different disposition than the other, until such time as they could apply to have all charges sealed.
When two (2) or (3) convictions result from the same indictment, information or complaint, guilty plea or official proceeding AND they resulted from related criminal acts that were committed within a three (3) month period (but ARE NOT the SAME act or from offenses committed at the same time) the Court MAY treat these as one conviction. (For example you are charged with theft on May 15, 2014 and June 2, 2014, the Court may treat these convictions as one for purposes of determining if you are an eligible offender).
You CANNOT file for expungement while there are pending criminal charges.
Convictions that can NEVER be Expunged:
- First degree and second degree felonies;
- Any offense with a mandatory prison term;
- First degree misdemeanor or felony where the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age (with exception of child support convictions under ORC 2919.21);
- First degree misdemeanor and felony violent offenses (with exceptions: rioting (ORC 2917. 03), misdemeanor assault (ORC 2903.13), inciting violence (ORC 2917.01), or inducing panic (ORC 2917.31) IF such offenses are a first degree misdemeanor);
- Sexual-related offenses (ORC 3907.02-2907.06, 2907.321, 2907.322 or 2907. 323; ORC 2907.07);
- Sexual-related offenses (ORC 2907.08, 2907.09, 2907.21, 2907.22, 2907.23, 2907.31, 2907.311, 2907.32 or 2907.33) where the victim was under eighteen (18) years of age;
- Motor Vehicle Offenses (ORC 4549);
- Traffic Offenses (ORC 4511) INCLUDING (OMVI/DUI)
- Driver’s License Offenses (ORC 4507, 4510); and
- Bail forfeitures in a traffic case.
The Following are NOT Convictions under the Statute:
There following do not qualify as “convictions” under the statute, and thus this statute does not apply:
- Dismissals (and finding of not guilty);
- Minor Misdemeanors;
- Traffic Laws (ORC 4511, 4513) (with exceptions);
- Driver’s License Laws (ORC 4507, 4510);
- Motor Vehicle Offenses (ORC 4549) (with exceptions).
*There is no limit on the number of minor misdemeanors or dismissals that can be sealed. You generally do not have to wait to file to get a finding of not guilty/dismissal sealed. EXCEPTION: You have to wait for a period of two (2) years after a “no bill” is issued from a grand jury (i.e. the grand jury does not indict you for a charge).
*If you are convicted on one (1) or more charges that arose out of the same incident while other charges were dismissed, you CANNOT get the dismissed charges sealed unless you are also eligible to get the convictions sealed.
* If you are convicted of multiple convictions under one case, and one of the convictions is exempt from being sealed under O.R.C. 2953.36, court cannot grant expungement of the remaining convictions.