Ohio Criminal Expungement
If you have an Ohio criminal record, you probably know the many ways in which it can hold you back in life. It can be difficult to obtain various important opportunities, such as the job you deserve, housing you want, and taking advantages of other major benefits. Thankfully, Ohio law allows many with criminal records to seal their record, leave their mistakes in the past, and move on with life. If you qualify to seal an Ohio criminal record, it will be completely sealed from the public and in most cases, you can truthfully say that you have not been convicted of the sealed offenses.
While not everyone with a criminal record in Ohio qualifies to seal their record, Ohio has fairly liberal laws relating to record sealing. These laws have recently been expanded to permit more sealing opportunities—in 2012 Ohio Senate Bill 337 made record sealing available to those with multiple convictions, and in 2014 Ohio Senate Bill 143 was passed, removing additional barriers to sealing a criminal record in Ohio. If you did not qualify to seal your Ohio criminal record in the past, these new laws may now provide you with an opportunity to do so.
How to Remove Your Ohio Record
If you are eligible to obtain a record seal in Ohio, then you must first petition the sentencing court. Then, depending on the court, you may have a hearing on the matter. Furthermore, firearm rights restoration is often available to individuals with a felony conviction. Our firm offers the following legal services in Ohio:
- Ohio Record Sealing: Ohio State law allows for sealing of criminal records for arrests and certain types of misdemeanor and felony convictions. The process fully seals the arrest and conviction records held by state and local criminal record databases, making them inaccessible to potential employers, landlords, the general public, and most government agencies.
- Ohio Firearm Rights Restoration: Ohio State law restricts firearm possession and eligibility for a concealed carry permit if a person has been convicted of a felony offense. The law allows a person to petition a court for restoration of your right to possess a firearm upon a good showing of rehabilitation. If a court issues an order restoring firearm rights, the right to own and possess a firearm is fully restored under Ohio law.
Why You Should Hire WipeRecord
Thousands of Ohio residents are now eligible to seal their criminal records, providing countless opportunities available to them which were previously unavailable. Sealing a criminal record—even a non-conviction—may prove valuable when applying for a job or license, seeking credit, applying for educational programs, obtaining housing, and securing other opportunities. In most cases, a sealed record will not show up on a background check and can be treated as if it does not exist.
There are many potential benefits to sealing a criminal record, some of which include:
- Being able to legally state that you have not been arrested or convicted of a criminal offense to employers and landlords
- Becoming eligible for professional licenses you previously did not qualify for
- Increased eligibility for student loans, housing assistance, and government programs
- Improving your ability to obtain higher-paying job opportunities
- Improving access and admission to college and other educational resources
- Eliminating the concern and potential embarrassment of failing a background check by removing public access to sensitive personal information
To see if you’re eligible to seal your Ohio criminal record, take our FREE and confidential eligibility test. If you would prefer to speak with one of our Attorneys or Criminal Records Analysts, please give us a call toll free at (844) 947-3732.
Figuring out whether you qualify for record removal under Ohio’s new record sealing laws can be difficult, and the legal process to seal your record can be exceedingly complicated and time consuming. Hiring a law firm with attorneys focused on record sealing and expungements is the best way to maximize your chances of successfully sealing your record and moving on with life.
We understand that a record seal is an investment in your future and for that reason, we offer flexible payment plans. All of our services come with a low-price guarantee, and some Ohio criminal record removal services have money-back guarantees.
Ohio Criminal Record Removal Services
Ohio Arrest Record Sealing
When you are arrested by Ohio law enforcement, the State of Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation and other Ohio criminal justice agencies will maintain your arrest records, regardless if you are never charged, charges are dismissed, or you are found innocent. While it may not be fair, these records are freely available to the public, meaning that employers, landlords, and anybody with an interest in you, can discover embarrassing criminal incidents where you weren’t event convicted of a crime.
To seal arrest records where charges were not filed against you, were eventually dismissed, or where you were later found innocent, ORC 2953.52 provides relief in most cases. Dismissed cases can be sealed immediately, and cases resulting in a “no bill” from the grand jury can be sealed after two years. In general, there are very few limitations on sealing criminal arrest records which did not result in a conviction.
Ohio Conviction Record Sealing
ORC 2953.32 permits the sealing of both felonies and misdemeanors, so long as certain requirements are met.
You may qualify to seal convictions from your Ohio criminal record if each of the following conditions are met:
- For felony convictions, three years must have elapsed since your final discharge;
- For misdemeanor convictions, one year must have elapsed since your final discharge;
- You must not have any pending charges or criminal proceedings pending;
- You cannot have more than either (i) one felony conviction and one misdemeanor conviction in any state, or (ii) two misdemeanor convictions in any state;
- The conviction you are seeking to seal may not be a prohibited offense under ORS 2953.36, some of which include:
- Convictions resulting in a prison term;
- Certain sex crimes;
- Driver’s license and motor vehicle violations;
- Felonies in the first or second degree;
- Most violent offenses which are either felonies or misdemeanors in the first degree; and
- Felonies or misdemeanors in the first degree where the victim was under 18.
- The court finds that you have been successfully rehabilitated.
Ohio’s new record sealing laws have greatly increased the availability for those with criminal records in Ohio to seal their records. However, the process involves a lot of work, and is discretionary—a judge has the ultimate say in sealing a conviction from your record. The process of obtaining a record seal typically takes between four to six months, so waiting until you need your criminal record cleaned up is typically too late. Starting the process as soon as possible is vital to ensuring that you do not miss out on any more opportunities in life.
The best way to determine if you’re eligible to seal an Ohio arrest record or conviction is to take our Free, Confidential Eligibility Test or call us toll free at (844) 947-3732 to discuss your options.
Click here to read the Ohio sealing statute.
Ohio Firearm Rights Restoration
In most cases, individuals who received a record seal in Ohio, also have their civil rights restored under ORC § 2953.33. For those that are not eligible for a seal, firearm rights may also be restored under ORC § 2923.14. This law permits many Ohio residents an opportunity to restore their Constitutional right to own a gun by applying to the court of common pleas in the county they live in.
In order to qualify to ask the court to restore your right to own a gun, you must have completed your sentence and no longer be on probation, parole, or court supervision. In addition, you must have led a law-abiding lifestyle since the conviction which led to having your Second Amendment rights taken away. Although a subsequent conviction will not disqualify you, it will make getting your firearm rights more difficult to restore.
Generally, the court will look at several factors in making its decision to restore your firearm rights, including: the age and seriousness of your conviction, your criminal history, whether you have lead a law-abiding lifestyle, and whether restoring your firearm rights are in the public’s interest.
Since the passage of Ohio Senate Bill 247, successfully restoring your right to own a firearm under Ohio law will also restore your federal right to purchase, own, and possess a firearm, which is a very important development in Ohio firearm law. If you can successfully restore your Ohio firearm rights, the court will notify the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the FBI that your firearm rights have been restored, and you should be able to legally obtain and possess a firearm without issue.
This process can be difficult to navigate, and failing to do so correctly will prevent you from attempting to do so again for two years. This is why having an experienced attorney to guide you through the Ohio firearm rights restoration process is so important. The first step in restoring your right to own a gun is simply to take our free, confidential Eligibility Test to see if you qualify. If you would prefer to speak with one of our Criminal Records Analysts, please just give us a call toll free at (844) 947-3732.
Ohio Office Location:
4449 Easton Way
Columbus, OH 43219
*By appointment only
Ohio Frequently Asked Questions