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Expungement in Ohio - Who Qualifies?

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Remember that public intoxication charge you picked up back in college? Well, it might come back to haunt you during a background check or job interview. There is a process by which that sticky situation from your past can be removed from you record as if it never happened.

Ohio law permits you to file an application to have a criminal conviction sealed if you meet the following criteria:

  1. You have not been convicted of more than two misdemeanors or one misdemeanor and one felony offense;
  2. The statutory waiting period has passed (one (1) year from the date of termination of your case for a misdemeanor and three (3) years from the date of termination of your case for a felony);
  3. You have no charges currently pending;
  4. The offense is not one which is statutorily barred from being sealed.

Generally speaking, sex offenses, offenses of violence, traffic offenses such as OVI, and offenses involving a victim under the age of 18 CANNOT be sealed. Ohio Rev. Code ยง2953.36 outlines the exceptions to Ohio's expungment law.

If you believe you may be eligible to have a criminal conviction sealed, you will have to file a formal application and post a filing fee with the Court in which you were convicted. A Judge will then review your application and determine whether or not you are eligible to have your conviction sealed. If the application is granted, the court will issue an Order to the Clerk of Court and to other government entities that perform background checks requiring them to seal and remove the conviction from your record.

Jessica D'Varga is an Associate Attorney at The Law Offices of Saia & Piatt, Inc. who handes a variety of criminal, OVI, and traffic cases in Columbus, OH.

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