New Changes To Ohio Law Make Petitioning for Expungements Easier

New Changes To Ohio Law Make Petitioning for Expungements Easier(3)
June 14, 2023

Ohio has a new law that makes it easier for its residents with a criminal record to seal or expunge their convictions. As a result, anyone with eligible criminal records should consider applying. In most cases, expungements significantly improve an individual’s job and housing opportunities.

However, interested individuals must meet several requirements to apply. For example, they cannot have pending or open criminal cases. Such cases include open traffic violations, warrants, and whether you still have probation or are under community control.

Applicants must also have paid all fines and restitution before applying. In addition, they must complete the required waiting period before having their conviction sealed. You can seal minor misdemeanors after six months and misdemeanors after a year. Sealing third, fourth, and fifth-degree felonies also require a year-long wait. Other eligible felonies must wait ten years for expungement.

Furthermore, the law lists ineligible criminal records and circumstances. Such cases include the following:

  • More than two third-degree felonies
  • Traffic offenses
  • Sex crimes for which the offender must still register
  • First and second-degree felonies
  • Crimes with the victim(s) under age 13, not including non-payment of child support
  • Violation of protection orders and convictions for domestic violence

To have your criminal record sealed or expunged, you must apply in the court that convicted you or dismissed the case. As such, anyone with multiple convictions in separate courts must apply in each court. The application fee will be a maximum of $50 for each court. However, you can have the fee waived if you meet the income requirements. 

After applying, you must wait 45 to 90 days for a court hearing. However, crime victims and prosecutors may present objections to the case. You must attend the hearing once the court schedules it. This hearing will allow you to explain why you want to seal or expunge your record and how you have rehabilitated. You should also describe why sealing your records is in everyone’s interest, including the government’s.

However, applying and attending the hearing does not guarantee that the court will expunge your records. The judge will make the final decision. Regardless, it is still worth completing the process due to the many advantages of sealing these records. For example, expunging your records could open more employment and housing opportunities. These improvements would also lead to better financial stability and returned civil rights.

Consider running a self-background check after successfully applying for a record sealing or expungement. A self-check will inform you whether the court finished the process when expected. In addition, self-background checks can reveal potential errors or records that may require further action. Discovering these lets you act accordingly and prepare to explain any harmful information to prospective employers or landlords.

Discover more about our reliable and secure self-background checks by clicking here. Get started today.