Expungement In Ohio: What Is Eligibile To Be Expunged From My Record?
As of April 8, 2019, Ohio has switched up the rules on expungement once again, and made it easier for citizens to clean up their record. Expungement, however, is not a completely clean slate. According to Ohio law, expungement means that the records of arrest and conviction will be sealed from public access. An index will still be kept by the governmental agency, but those records won’t be accessible to the general public. It is important to note that DNA records will not be sealed in the ways that other records are, unless the conviction has been overturned. Additionally, you can request the sealing of records for more than one case in a single application, which will save you on application fees.
Per Ohio Revised Code Section 2953.32, the following can be expunged:
- 3 years after the final discharge if only one felony (This means 3 years after the completion of the sentence, probation, and payment of fines, court costs, and restitution)
- 4 years after the final discharge if convicted of two felonies (This means 4 years after the completion of the sentence, probation, and payment of fines, court costs, and restitution)
- 5 years after the final discharge if convicted of 3, 4, or 5 felonies (This means 5 years after the completion of the sentence, probation, and payment of fines, court costs, and restitution)
- 1 year after the final discharge after a misdemeanor (This means one year after the completion of the sentence, probation, and payment of fines, court costs, and restitution)
- See Ohio Revised Code Section 2953.32 for the exact language regarding bail forfeiture cases
The following convictions cannot be expunged:
- convictions when the offender is subject to a mandatory prison term
- Sex offense convictions under §§ 2907.02, 2907.03, 2907.04, 2907.05, 2907.06, 2907.321, 2907.322, or 2907.323, and former 2907.12
- Convictions of violence when the offense is a misdemeanor of the first degree or a felony (except assault and few others)
- Convictions of a felony in the first or second degree
- Traffic offenses such as speeding, OVI, or reckless operation under Chapters 4507., 4510.,4511., or 4549.
- Convictions on or after October 10, 2007, under 2907.07 (importuning) or similar local laws when the victim is under 18
- Other sex offenses where the victim was less than 16 years old
- Bail forfeitures in certain traffic cases
- multiple convictions of an identical offense
After an application is filed with the court, the court will then set a date for a hearing, and notify the prosecutor for the particular case. The prosecutor is allowed to file objections to the application, and must specify why those objections are being made. The court will then direct the probation department to make inquiries and written reports as to the applicant. If the conviction is for a violation of 2919.21 (nonpayment of child support), the probation department will also contact the child support enforcement agency to ask about the applicant’s compliance with paying child support. The court will then make a decision regarding the application, reports and objections filed, as well as the public interest. Pending criminal proceedings and other issues will also be taken into account.
If you have any questions, or would like to discuss expungement under this new law, please contact Holzfaster, Cecil, McKnight & Mues, LPA.