The consequences of having a criminal record can be severe. Without an Ohio expungement lawyer to help you clean your record, that crime could tarnish your reputation permanently. Jobs and housing can be harder to find and the social stigma can follow for years after a case is settled. For people who have learned their lesson and been successfully rehabilitated, it seems an unduly harsh penalty.
That’s why Ohio law gives some offenders the second chance at a clean slate. First offenders and sometimes even people with several minor arrests can apply for expungement of their record.
Expungement is legal process in court that seals your record and has all public documentation of your arrest and court appearances destroyed. Even better, after your record is expunged, legally it is as if the conviction never happened. You can truthfully answer “no” if asked on a legal document about a criminal record.
For many people, an expungement allows them to move on with a normal life. You can apply for expungement of your record a year after fulfilling court obligations for a misdemeanor or three years after fulfilling court obligations for a felony. With the help of an experienced Ohio expungement lawyer, the process is relatively simple and should take only a few months in most cases. After that, you are free of a criminal record.
Am I Eligible for Ohio Expungement?
Not all offenses are eligible for expungement in Ohio. Generally, though, if you are a first-time, nonviolent offender, you should qualify. If you go through pretrial diversion or your case is dismissed or ruled not guilty, you always can have your record expunged. Ohio statute provides for expungement in cases that:
- The offense did not have a mandatory prison sentence
- It was not a sexual or violent offense
- It was not a felony or first-degree misdemeanor where the victim was a minor
- You have no previous felony convictions and no or only one previous misdemeanor convictions
Generally, you should be approved if you qualify, assuming all motions, filings, and arguments are done correctly. For this reason, it may be in your interest to get the help of an experienced Ohio expungement lawyer to ensure you don’t make any costly mistakes. If you are considering requesting to have your record expunged, it is best to consult a professional and get it done right. Your future could depend on it. Get the help of the Ohio expungement lawyers at Luftman, Heck & Associates and ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. Call us today at for a free consultation on your case and to find out if you may qualify for a clean slate.