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Expunging Your Criminal Record
Everyone makes mistakes. That’s why Ohio gives people the chance to clear their criminal record by sealing documents and records related to the crime you were accused—or even convicted— of in certain circumstances. While expungement may take serious effort on your part or at least a good attorney, it’s worth it.
A criminal record can make it difficult to find a job or housing and can do real damage to your life for years after paying for a mistake. By expunging or sealing your records, you get a clean slate. You have the opportunity to truly move on without a criminal record dragging you down. If you have been rehabilitated and kept your record clean after your arrest or conviction, you deserve to have your records sealed. You can apply one year after the final discharge of a misdemeanor or three years after the final discharge of a felony.
How to Get Your Record Expunged or Sealed in Ohio
The process for getting your records sealed or expunged in Ohio can be a bit complex if you are not familiar with the system, especially since the exact proceedings change from court to court. You will need to make sure to file all proper forms, specifying all the relevant details of the case and personal information. You must be extremely careful to use the correct form, as there are different versions for different circumstances, such as a conviction vs. no conviction or felony vs. misdemeanor. In certain cases, you may be required to attend a hearing. A Cincinnati expungement lawyer can help you discover the exact process for the court where you were arraigned.
Who Qualifies for Expungement and Record Sealing
If you were arrested as a juvenile, you can have all records and documents related to your arrest permanently destroyed through expungement. Usually this is done automatically, unless you are adjudicated a delinquent, unruly, or a juvenile traffic offender. You may still qualify for expungement at a later date, though, if:
- more than two years have passed since the end of the last court order made in your case,
- you are now an adult released from the system, or
- you have been sufficiently rehabilitated.
All documents related to adult crimes cannot be totally erased from the record, but you can have an arrest cleared from public view, allowing you to carry on as if the arrest never happened. Legally, you can act as though the arrest never happened. If you were not convicted, either due to a “not guilty” verdict, a dismissal of the charges, or a “no bill” grand jury ruling, you can always have your records sealed.
Even if you were convicted, you may be able to get your records sealed, however. If the following are true, you usually qualify:
- It is your first offense, not counting minor misdemeanors, or second misdemeanor conviction.
- You are not currently facing any other charges.
- Your crime is not subject to a mandatory prison term.
- Your crime was nonviolent and not a sexually-based offense.
- Your crime did not involve minors.
How Luftman, Heck, and Associates Can Help Clear Your Name
Expungement applications and procedures must be followed perfectly in order for your record to be cleaned. That’s why getting help from an experienced Cincinnati expungement lawyer is vital to your success. At Luftman, Heck, and Associates, we have helped countless clients successfully get a clean record as quickly, painlessly, and cheaply as possible.
If you have an arrest in your past that may qualify for expungement, call our team of experienced Cincinnati criminal defense attorneys today for a free consultation on your case at (513) 338-1890. Let us help you start over with a clean record, so you can move on. We believe everyone deserves a second chance. With a Luftman, Heck, and Associates Cincinnati expungement lawyer by your side, you have the best chance at getting yours.