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Ohio's New Expungement & Sealing of Record Rules


Ohio has always had a complicated relationship with expungements and criminal record sealing. There are lawyers practicing today that still remember when expungement was first allowed in Ohio – the rulings are that recent.

The state has long been wary of allowing criminal expungements, and for many years an individual was only allowed to expunge one conviction. It was not until October 29, 2018, that a new law went into effect allowing people to expunge multiple convictions, including felonies.

If you were unable to expunge or seal your criminal record before October of 2018, contact our skilled Columbus criminal defense attorneys at The Meranda Law Firm LTD to discuss your current eligibility.

How Many Convictions Can I Have Expunged?

Under the new law, you can have as many as five felony convictions expunged. There is no limit on the number of misdemeanors that can be expunged. However, there are some situations that may prevent you from having your conviction expunged.

The following may render you ineligible for criminal expungement or record sealing:

  • If one of your convictions involved a violent crime
  • If one of your convictions involved a sex crime
  • If you have any first, second, or third-degree felonies

However, if you are ineligible for expungement under the new rule, you may still be able to file for one under the old rule, which allows for the expungement of one felony or up to two misdemeanors. This rule still allows a person with a third-degree felony conviction to have the conviction sealed.

Waiting Periods

You cannot file for expungement right away. You must wait a specified amount of time after your case is closed to apply.

Waiting periods vary depending on the type of charge:

  • Misdemeanors have a one-year waiting period
  • A single felony charge has a three-year waiting period
  • Two felony charges have a four-year waiting period
  • Three or five felony charges have a five-year waiting period

How Can I Apply for Expungement?

If you believe you qualify for expungement under the new law, contact our knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers at The Meranda Law Firm LTD in Columbus. Our team has been preparing for this new change in legislation and can help you get a fresh start in life.

(614) 707-4239 to schedule an appointment at our firm today.