If you've been convicted or arrested for a crime, then you may be able to get your record sealed or cleared so you are able to obtain gainful employment, get housing, pursue secondary education, and more.
The process is begun by filing an application with the court, specifying a particular conviction for possible expungement. The court will review and process the application, and then forward it to the Prosecutor's Office for review and response.
If you are intending to file for an expungement, it is highly advised that you contact a Columbus criminal defense attorney right away. An attorney can provide you with assistance throughout the filing process that can greatly increase your chances of an outcome in which your expungement is granted.
Unfortunately, not all convictions are eligible for expunction. In Ohio there are "prohibited offenses" and these are not eligible for an expunction, such as:
On October 29, 2018, Ohio passed new rules regarding expungement. Under these new laws, you can have an unlimited number of misdemeanors expunged and up to five felony convictions.
If you are not eligible for expungement under the new law, you still may be able to apply under the old one. The old law allows you to expunge a third-degree felony conviction, but in order to qualify you can have more than one felony and one misdemeanor conviction.
In many cases, when you apply for certain jobs, licenses, or housing, the person reviewing your application may look to see if you have a criminal record, and if they discover that you have one, they may choose not to hire you, or rent that apartment to you based on the information they find. However, once your record has been expunged, when you are asked about a criminal record, you can honestly say that you don't have one and you can ethically act as if an arrest and conviction never occurred. However, once your record is sealed, the following agencies still have access to your record:
Keep in mind that if you commit another crime, then your sealed record can be used against you during sentencing.
With over 15 years of experience, The Meranda Law Firm LTD is well versed in all aspects of criminal defense, having served numerous clients throughout Columbus in their criminal cases. We provide knowledgeable, high quality legal assistance to each client we represent, in all manner of criminal charges, and our goal is that of obtaining favorable results in each case. Contact us today if you are seeking an expungement, and we will take you step-by-step through the process in an attempt to secure a successful resolution in which your record is cleared of a previous wrongdoing.
Want a prior conviction or arrest expunged? Contact us to consult a Columbus criminal attorney! All initial consultations are confidential and free of charge.