Everyone knows that a criminal record can affect several significant aspects of your life. A previous conviction could prevent an employer from offering you a job that otherwise you’d be qualified for or it might be hard obtaining decent housing once someone sees your record. To overcome this, Ohio law allows individuals the opportunity to have their records expunged. However, this is a legal process, and certain conditions must be fulfilled before an expungement in Ohio is possible.
Since an expungement is a legal procedure, you will need a lawyer to help you complete and file the application. This can be a technical and confusing endeavor, so it is important to find an attorney with criminal defense experience with a track record of getting criminal records expunged.
What Is An Expungement?
Legally, a successful expungement removes all reference to a previous conviction from your criminal record, as if it never existed. The ultimate goal is to prevent anyone viewing your record from seeing these past transgressions and making decisions based on their implications. In Ohio, an expungement is the same as having your criminal record sealed.
To clarify, the expungement process is not as easy as filing a few forms and also requires a court proceeding. While the hearings in each case may be different, your attorney will usually be able to appear in court on your behalf, without your personal appearance. Once your attorney makes an argument in favor of an expungement and a judge orders its approval, any future search of your criminal record will not reveal any evidence of your past convictions.
Who Is Eligible For An Expungement
Justifiably, the law does not allow for an expungement in all cases. If that were the case, then no one would have a criminal record. The law includes certain conditions before you can even apply for the expungement of your criminal record and they include:
- The offender has fulfilled the required waiting period after completing his or her sentence;
- The offender does not have any current or pending charges; and
- The conviction is one that can be expunged under the law.
Once these preliminary conditions are met, an offender is limited in his or her application regarding the type and number of convictions that can be sealed. The law allows an expungement of the following convictions:
- One felony;
- One misdemeanor;
- One felony and one misdemeanor; or
- Two misdemeanors.
Because the law can be confusing as to what can be considered one or two convictions, it is essential to retain a criminal defense lawyer to assist you with the expungement process.
It is also important to know that not all felonies or misdemeanors are eligible for an expungement in Ohio due to their severity. The following convictions are not allowed under Ohio expungement laws:
- Felonies in the first and second degree;
- A conviction of 3 or more offenses relating to separate cases;
- A conviction of 2 or more felonies relating to separate cases;
- Felony sex offenses;
- Domestic violence (1st-degree felony or misdemeanor);
- DUI convictions;
- Crimes that have a mandatory prison term;
- Certain felonies and misdemeanors where the victim was a minor; and
- Certain violent crimes;
Call On Brad Groene to Help With Your Expungement
Criminal defense lawyer Brad Groene has dedicated his legal practice to providing criminal defense representation and litigation. If you have a previous conviction and are thinking about getting your record expunged, you can depend on his skill and experience to navigate the expungement process so you can move forward without your past mistakes holding you back.
Schedule a consultation today at (513) 338-1890 to determine if you qualify for an expungement in Ohio.