How to Remove a Criminal Charge in Ohio

A criminal record can follow you around for the rest of your life. As explained by The Marshall Project, a criminal record can sometimes make it more difficult to get a job, a loan, or even an apartment. This raises an important question: How do you remove a criminal charge from your record in Ohio? The answer depends entirely on your specific circumstances. Here, our Toledo criminal defense lawyer highlights the key things you need to know about expungements in Ohio. 

Criminal Charges in Ohio: A Guide to Sealing Your Record 

What is Expungement (Sealing of Records)?

An expungement is defined as the complete and total erasure of a criminal record. Technically speaking, the State of Ohio does not allow for expungements. That being said, you may be eligible to get certain criminal records sealed under Ohio Revised Code § 2953.31. The effect is similar. With limited exceptions, most employers and landlords cannot access sealed records. The requirements to get records sealed under Ohio law are complicated. If you have specific questions about what types of criminal records can be removed, an experienced Toledo expungement lawyer can help. 

Is It Worth It to Get Records Sealed?

For many people, it is absolutely worth it to get eligible criminal records sealed. Even if you were not convicted of an offense, it can be useful to get an arrest record off of your file so that it does not show up in a general background check. 

What Criminal Records Can Be Sealed in Ohio?

Not all criminal records can be sealed. In Ohio, only certain types of records can be removed from a standard background check. More specifically, you may be able to get the following types of records removed: 

  • Non-Convictions: Most non-conviction records can be sealed in Ohio. If you were arrested and the charges were eventually dropped or the case was dismissed, you are likely eligible to get those records sealed. 
  • Certain Criminal Convictions: Some criminal conviction records can also be sealed—at least after a certain time period has passed. For reference, misdemeanor offenses usually carry a one-year waiting period after discharge before any action to get records sealed can be taken.  

Are the Steps I Need to Take Before Records Can Be Sealed?

Yes. In Ohio, criminal records can generally not be sealed until an individual has satisfied a wide array of different requirements. Among other things, you will have to make sure that you completed any prison sentence, paid back any fines/court costs, and completed parole & probation. Notably, if criminal charges are pending against you, then you probably cannot file for expungement. 

Call Our Criminal Defense Attorney in Ohio Today

At Groth & Associates, our Ohio criminal defense lawyers are committed to protecting the rights and interests of our clients. If you have any questions about removing a criminal charge from your record, we can help. Give us a call or use our online contact form to request your completely confidential consultation. With an office in Toledo, we serve communities throughout the region, including in Fremont, Maumee, Perrysburg, Findlay, and Sylvania.