Expunging a Conviction or Sealing a Record in Ohio

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Expunging a Conviction or Sealing a Record in Ohio

Expunging a conviction and sealing a record are two different things. Often times, the two terms confuse many people because the terms "expungement" and "sealing" are used interchangeably. "Sealing" a court record simply means that the general public no longer has access to the conviction documents. However, "expungement" implies that the record is completely destroyed as if the crime was never committed. In application, they are the same since it is very rare for people to examine sealed records.

Sealing Records vs. Expungement

Technically, Ohio practices the sealing of records rather than expungement. Adult records are sealed, while only juvenile records may be expunged. Sealing means that the record still exist, but it generally may not be viewed or examined by others.

Criteria for Sealing

In order to be eligible to seal an adult conviction record, the person must:

Additionally, minor misdemeanors and the crimes arising from the same incident may be sealed. But records involving mandatory prison time and some serious offenses may not be sealed. Usually a waiting period is required from the date of discharge before a record may be sealed, which is one year for misdemeanor crimes and three years for felony offenses.

Consulting an Attorney

A criminal lawyer can help guide you through the expungement process. He can also speak on your behalf during court and can help you file all the necessary paperwork. In other words, the lawyer can present your case to the judge in a better light than you may be able to.

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Last Modified: 03-21-2014 03:53 PM PDT

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