Expungement of a criminal record is when an arrest or conviction is removed from a person’s criminal record, in most cases. The arrest or conviction is not erased from the record, but once it is expunged from your record, you no longer have to disclose it on legal forms, and it will not come up on public record searches or background checks. This is important when applying for jobs or schools, obtaining a driver’s license, or qualifying for certain benefits. The Ohio expungement process is different from records sealing. When a record is sealed, it is not public record, but will still come up on background checks and investigations. Here, we will briefly discuss the expungement process in Ohio.
What Crimes Cannot be Expunged in Ohio?
If you have been convicted of violent crimes — murder, rape, aggravated murder— or crimes that involve child victims — corrupting a minor, obscenity involving a minor, pornography involving a minor, child abuse — these crimes are not eligible for expungement. Generally speaking, most traffic violations are not expungeable unless they are so intertwined with an expungeable offense that the record cannot be sealed without removing the traffic violation as well. Most other crimes are eligible if other qualifications are met; see those here: Sealing of Criminal Records.
What Happens When They Expunge My Record?
All official records and documents related to a case that qualifies for the Ohio expungement process will be sealed and stored in a sealed records index. If you commit another crime, the sealed records may be used against you in sentencing and to show character or credibility in any court proceedings — whether you are the defendant or not.
Juvenile records that are expunged will be destroyed, so the record no longer exists, including index and fingerprints. An arrest record may be kept for statistical data, but may not include reference to the juvenile’s identity. If a student was expelled from school for the offense, school records may be kept in the school systems.
Am I Eligible for the Expungement Process?
If you were arrested and convicted of a crime not listed above, you may be eligible under the Ohio expungement process. You cannot have more than one felony conviction, two misdemeanor convictions, or one felony and one misdemeanor convictions. The maximum allowable expungements, according to the Ohio expungement law, is one felony and one misdemeanor, or two misdemeanors. Ohio’s expungement law has faced a few changes in recent years; the best way to know if you are eligible for records expungement by contacting a legal professional to review your case.
At Probst Law Offices, we understand that one mistake shouldn’t define your life. If you have learned from your mistakes and are ready to have them removed from your record, call Probst Law Offices for your free consultation. Our experienced expungement attorneys can review your case and let you know if you are eligible for expungement or what your other options may be if you are not. If you are eligible, our offices can help you file the plea and represent your case. You’ve got nothing to lose, contact us today!