EXPUNGEMENTS / RECORD SEALING IN OHIO
Diffference Between Record Sealing and Expungement
“Sealing” and “Expungement” are words that are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. An expungement deletes and destroys a record and treats it as if it never occurred, sealing a record does not do this. Sealing records will not show up on most background checks. Landlords, schools, and the general public cannot see the sealed record. In certain situations, some employers and professional licensing boards can see sealed conviction records, such as nursing, childcare, and security-related employment.
To determine eligibility for record sealing, consult the expungement checklist below.
2. Is The Offense You Are Trying To Seal On The Prohibited List?
The laws on Sealing or Expungements in Ohio prevents you from sealing or expunging your record for some criminal offenses:
- First or Second Degree Felonies
- Three or more Third Degree Felonies
- Traffic Convictions
- Felony offenses of violence that are not sexually oriented offenses
- Sexually oriented offenses when the applicant is subject to requirements of the sex offender registry
- Offenses in which the victim of the offense was less than 13 years old
- Domestic violence convictions
- Violating Protection Order convictions
- 2903.01 – Aggravated Murder
- 2903.02 – Murder
- 2903.03 – Voluntary Manslaughter
- 2903.04 – Involuntary Manslaughter
- 2903.11 – Felonious Assault
- 2903.12 – Aggravated Assault
- 2903.13 – Assault (felony level)
- 2903.15 – Permitting child abuse
- 2903.21 – Aggravated menacing
- 2903.211 – Menacing by stalking
- 2903.22 – Menacing
- 2905.01 – Kidnapping
- 2905.02 – Abduction
- 2905.02 – Extortion
- 2907.02 – Rape
- 2907.03 – Sexual Battery
- 2907.05 – Gross Sexual Imposition
- 2907.12 – Felonious Sexual Penetration
- 2909.02 – Aggravated Arson
- 2909.03 – Arson
- 2911.01 – Aggravated robbery
- 2911.02 – Robbery
- 2911.11 – Aggravated Burglary
- 2917.01 – Inciting to Violence (felony level)
- 2917.02 – Aggravated Riot
- 2917.03 – Riot (felony level)
- 2917.31 – Inducing panic (felony level)
- 2919.25 – Domestic violence (M-1 level offense)
- 2921.03 – Intimidation
- 2921.04 – Intimidation of Attorney, Victim, or Witness
- 2921.34 – Escape
- 2923.161 – Improperly Discharging Firearm (some levels)
- 2911.12(A)(1), (2), or (3) – Burglary
- 2919.22(B)(1), (2), (3), or (4) – Endangering Children
- 2903.34 (A)(1) – Patient Abuse or Neglect
- 2903.18 – Strangulation or Suffocation
- 2909.24 – Terrorism
- 2905.32 Trafficking in Persons
Additional sex offenses not listed above are on the prohibited list and include:
- 2907.04 – Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor
- 2907.07 – Importuning
- 2907.32 – Pandering Obscenity
- 2907.321 – Pandering Obscenity Involving a Minor or an Impaired Person
- 2907.322 – Pandering Sexually Oriented Material Involving a Minor or an Impaired Person
- 2907.06 – Sexual Imposition
- 2907.323 – Illegal Use of a Minor in Nudity-Oriented Material or Performances
- 2907.21 – Compelling Prostitution
- 2907.22 – Promoting Prostitution
- 2905.05(B) – Criminal Child Enticement
- 2907.09 – Public Indecenc
- 2905.03 (B) – Unlawful Restraint
- 2907.08 – Voyeurism
Certain offenses involving vehicles:
- Driving Under an OVI/DUI Suspension
- Hit Skip
- Drag Racing
- Tampering with an Odometer
- Offering to Sell a Vehicle with a Tampered Odometer
- Sale or Possession of a Vehicle Master Key
- Concealing the Identity of Vehicles or Parts
If the offense you wish to have sealed is not on the prohibited list above, proceed to the next question.
3. Do You Have Any Criminal Charges Pending Against You Right Now?
FOR A FRESH START IN LIFE
The court is not permitted to consider your application if you have any criminal charges pending against you when you file the request.
You must wait until the pending charges have been resolved.
If you have no criminal charges currently pending against you, proceed to the final question.
4. Have You Waited The Required Period Of Time Since Completing Your Sentence?
There is a waiting period after you have completed the sentence for your conviction before you can apply to have the record sealed or expunged. This is known as a Final Discharge.
A Final Discharge occurs when you have completed all requirements of your sentence. You must have served the
jail or prison time, paid all your fines and court costs, paid any restitution required, completed any community service mandated, completed any probation, and finished all other aspects of your sentence.
One common roadblock can occur when, for example, a person has been given a suspended sentence conditioned upon “no violation of the law for one year” or something similar.
You would normally have been deemed not to have a Final Discharge until this year had passed. In this situation, some judges can be persuaded to remove this sentencing condition to enable you to apply for expungement.
The required waiting periods for Record Sealing are as follows:
- For Minor Misdemeanors, you must wait SIX MONTHS after Final Discharge.
- For Misdemeanors, you must wait ONE YEAR after Final Discharge.
- For Felonies of the Fourth Degree or Fifth Degree, you must wait ONE YEAR after Final Discharge.
- For felonies of the Third Degree, you must wait THREE YEARS after Final Discharge.
- If applicant is subject to sex offender registry, you must wait FIVE YEARS after requirements have ended.
The required waiting periods for Expungement are as follows:
- For Minor Misdemeanors, you must wait SIX MONTHS after final Discharge.
- For Misdemeanors, you must wait ONE YEAR after Final Discharge.
- For Felonies you must wait TEN YEARS after Final Discharge.
If you have satisfied the required waiting period, you are now eligible to apply to have your record sealed or expunged.
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