SKILLED IN CRIMINAL DEFENSE
OHIO EXPUNGEMENT ATTORNEY REPRESENTING CLIENTS IN SYLVANIA
When you are experiencing difficulty obtaining a job, being eligible for a loan, or any other consequences of having a criminal record, you may be wondering about your options for removing that criminal conviction from your record. At Groth & Associates, we know that people make mistakes, and we believe that you deserve another chance. Mistakes or errors you made in your past should not have to be part of your life forever. When it comes to removing harmful information from a criminal record, it is important to understand the distinction between record sealing and expungement in Ohio. You might have heard about expungement, and you may have heard that it’s a way to remove a criminal conviction from your record. However, the reality of removing or hiding a criminal conviction is a bit more complicated.
If you have questions about hiding or removing a criminal conviction, a Sylvania expungement lawyer can speak with you today about your options.
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EXPUNGEMENT VERSUS SEALING OF CRIMINAL RECORDS IN SYLVANIA
In Ohio, while the term expungement may be used with regard to a criminal record, the process actually involves record sealing, or the sealing of a criminal record.
Some states differentiate between the processes of expungement and record sealing. In states that do distinguish between these terms, expungement is typically the process of removing a criminal conviction from your record entirely. In states that permit this kind of expungement, the criminal conviction is no longer on a person’s record, and it is not even available if court records are unsealed or specific searches are conducted—it is as if the criminal conviction was never on that person’s record in the first place. To be sure, the record is, in effect, destroyed or erased. Alternately, in states that differentiate between expungement and sealing, the process of sealing a criminal record involves hiding the record from most types of inquiries and from the public. In these states, record sealing does not result in a criminal record being destroyed or erased, but it does prevent most employers and other parties from learning about your conviction or having access to your criminal record.
In Ohio, there is no distinction between expungement and sealing. Instead, criminal convictions for adult offenders are never actually “expunged” in the sense we described above. Instead, criminal records can be sealed under Ohio law. As such, if you are seeking an expungement of your criminal record in Sylvania, you should know that you do not have the option to have a conviction completely erased from your record (unless you were wrongfully convicted, for example). Instead, you can petition to have your criminal record sealed, which means it will be almost completely hidden.
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WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR EXPUNGEMENT OR SEALING IN SYLVANIA?
Only certain people can be eligible to have a criminal record expunged/sealed in Ohio. According to Ohio law, an eligible offender is someone for whom all of the following are true:
- Convicted of five or fewer felony offenses in Ohio or any other state (combined);
- All Ohio felony offenses of either the fourth or fifth degree (i.e., no felony convictions more serious than a fourth-degree felony conviction in Ohio);
- None of the convictions are for a violent offense;
- None of the convictions are for a felony sex offense;
- Any felonies committed in another state would not be classified as a more serious offense than a fourth-degree or fifth-degree felony in Ohio; and
- None of the offenses from another state are violent or felony sex offense convictions.
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WAITING PERIOD FOR SYLVANIA EXPUNGEMENT
If you do plan to move forward with the expungement/sealing process in Ohio, you should know that there are waiting periods. In other words, you cannot immediately seek an expungement once you have been convicted of a criminal offense in Ohio, or once you have completed your sentence. The waiting period depends upon the type of offense and the total number of offenses. The following are the typical waiting periods to apply for expungement in Sylvania, Ohio:
- 1 year: misdemeanor convictions;
- 3 years: one fourth-degree or fifth-degree felony conviction;
- 4 years: two fourth-degree or fifth-degree felony convictions;
- 5 years: three, four, or five fourth-degree or fifth-degree felony convictions.
The waiting period typically begins following your conviction, after you have completed your sentence, and after you have completed any probationary period, and after you have paid any required monetary penalties or restitution.
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EXPUNGING CRIMINAL CHARGES AFTER AN ACQUITTAL
Even if you are acquitted of criminal charges, you will still have a criminal arrest record, and your criminal record will still reflect that you have been charged with a criminal offense whether or not you were evener indicted. As such, you should still consider expungement/sealing even if you were not a conviction. Having criminal charges on your record can have an effect, and you may be able to have the record sealed.
CONTACT AN EXPUNGEMENT ATTORNEY IN SYLVANIA
To get started on the expungement/sealing process in Ohio, you will need to apply at the court where you were convicted or charged, depending upon the specific offense. You should seek help from a Sylvania expungement attorney since this process can be complicated.
If you have a criminal conviction or any type of criminal record, or you have questions about your eligibility for expungement, you should get in touch with a Sylvania expungement attorney as soon as possible to learn about expungement options. We can assess your situation to help you determine whether you may be eligible for an expungement or record sealing, and what steps you will need to take in order to move forward. By seeking an expungement, you may be eligible for certain jobs, loans, and other opportunities from which you are currently restricted due to your criminal record. Our expungement lawyers in Ohio can help. Contact Groth & Associates today for more information.