TOLEDO EXPUNGEMENT LAWYER
WHENEVER YOU APPLY FOR A JOB OR AN APARTMENT, YOU WILL NEED TO DISCLOSE YOUR CRIMINAL HISTORY.
A criminal conviction carries many negative consequences, including possible jail time and fines. However, probably the worst consequence is that the conviction follows you around like a shadow wherever you go. Whenever you apply for a job or an apartment, you will need to disclose your criminal history. The same happens when applying for a loan or submitting a college application.
Even worse, there is nothing to prevent a landlord from denying you an apartment because of your criminal record or an employer from refusing to hire you. Even though you have repaid your debt to society, a criminal conviction can make it that much harder to establish yourself.
Fortunately, Ohio law allows people to request an expungement, which is the same as sealing records. This process can wipe your criminal history clean, allowing you to move on with your life once you have served your time.
WHO QUALIFIES FOR AN EXPUNGEMENT?
Section 2953.31 of the Ohio Revised Code lays out the qualifications:
- Your conviction is not precluded by law, such as DUI or crimes of violence.
- You were not subjected to a mandatory term in prison.
- You have waited long enough before requesting expungement.
- You have no criminal charges pending.
You cannot have too many convictions. Under the old law, you could qualify if you had:
- One misdemeanor
- One felony
- One misdemeanor and one felony
- Two misdemeanors
Others may also qualify because Ohio has recently expanded the law. Now, you can have up to five felonies so long as they are only felonies of the fourth- or fifth-degree.
These requirements are very complicated, and it is difficult for most people to analyze whether they can seal their criminal records. Many people who meet with us do not even know what degree felony they were convicted of. Finding out whether you qualify requires quite a bit of research, so reach out to an experienced Toledo expungement lawyer today.
CAN I REQUEST AN EXPUNGEMENT OF A JUVENILE RECORD?
YES YOU CAN!
Yes. If expunged, the juvenile record is removed from the court’s records and kept in a different location. Juveniles can then honestly report that they do not have a criminal record.
Some records are automatically sealed, such as when a juvenile is charged with underage drinking but completes a diversion program. No action is necessary to seal those records. However, other records will require a request.
Some records cannot be sealed. For example, if the juvenile is delinquent because of murder, aggravated murder, or rape, then sealing records is not available.
WORDS FROM OUR CLIENTS
Our experience with Attorney Stevin Groth was nothing short of life changing.ALFRED & JENNIFER
When we first contacted Mr. Groth, he gave us his cell phone number and we were able to directly contact him day or night. His knowledge of the Ohio judicial system was astounding. He handled all aspects of our case himself, never once handing off our case to jr. associates. Stevin had positive relationships with all the judges, district attorneys and court personal that we came in contact with. Stevin’s persuasive arguments on our son’s behalf cleared him of all charges. Because of Stevin’s abilities, our son is able to move forward with his life without the stigma of a criminal record. We could not recommend Stevin Groth more highly.
Dan is an amazing attorney. He had my divorce finalized in a short period of time. A lot quicker than I thought it was going to be and for that I’m thankful! Dan knew exactly what he was talking about. Any questions I had Dan, and his assistant, Michelle was glad to answer. The outcome of my divorce was exactly what I was hoping for.LAURIE
Thank You Dan for your services!
Allison Lawrence is the best lawyer I have hired.she was attentive when I presented my case to her & knew exactly how to handle it.very professional person when it comes to her job,also a humanitarian.Allison has given me great advice in a free consultation,as well as stood by side in court with chargers pending,of course she got the charges dismissed!!Great attorney,very dependable.in need of a lawyer,I highly recommend Allison Lawrence.RONNIE
I WAS NEVER CONVICTED. DO I NEED EXPUNGEMENT?
Yes. Some people are acquitted of crimes, but the arrest and prosecution records remain public, possibly making it difficult to obtain a job or rent an apartment. Even if acquitted, you might find that some people still doubt your innocence and don’t want anything to do with you.
Fortunately, you can have these records sealed as well. This means you can answer truthfully that you have not been arrested or prosecuted.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO WAIT?
You can’t immediately request expungement. Instead, you need to wait the following amount of time:
- Misdemeanors: one-year waiting period
- One felony (fourth- or fifth-degree): three-year waiting period
- Two felonies (fourth- or fifth-degree): four-year waiting period
- Three or more felonies (fourth- or fifth-degree): five-year waiting period
Waiting can be annoying, but it is vital that you not commit other crimes while waiting for your expungement, otherwise you could find yourself no longer eligible.
HOW WILL A LAWYER HELP?
Expungement is a privilege and not a right, so you need to ultimately convince a judge to seal your records. Some people try to handle all the paperwork themselves only to be overwhelmed and give up before completing the process. Other people file paperwork but commit key errors or fail to make a compelling case for themselves. Many people representing themselves have expungement denied, and judges will remember you if you filed sloppy paperwork.
By hiring an attorney, you will ensure that you file everything in a timely manner. A lawyer can create and file a professional petition to the court, and then go to the hearing and answer any questions that a judge has. To obtain expungement, you will need to apologize for the crimes and convince the judge that you have been rehabilitated. You definitely will improve your chances if you hire an experienced lawyer who can stand by your side.
WHAT INFORMATION IS REQUIRED TO REQUEST EXPUNGEMENT?
You will need a copy of the final order of all your convictions that you want sealed. This means getting the information from the clerk of the court where you were convicted. Remember, this might not be the court for the area where you currently live.
WILL AN EXPUNGEMENT REALLY MAKE MY CRIMINAL RECORD DISAPPEAR?
For the most part, yes. When someone performs a background check on you, there will be no evidence of the crime. It will be as if the criminal prosecution never occurred.
However, there are some exceptions for certain people or agencies who must have access to your criminal history. For example, law enforcement agencies will still be able to see your expunged record. Also, certain employers, such as those who employ people to work with small children, might have access to your sealed records.
You also need to understand the reality of technology. Many Internet companies offer background check services to the public. Often, they go around from court to court, scooping up public information about convictions and adding that information to their databases. Because your criminal record was once public, one of these companies could have entered your name into their database. There is no way currently to get the information removed from these companies.
CONTACT AN EXPUNGEMENT LAWYER IN TOLEDO, OHIO FOR HELP
If you have criminal convictions you want sealed, please contact an attorney as soon as possible. At Groth & Associates, we have helped many clients obtain a fresh start.
Please contact us today. You can call 419-318-1578 or send us an online message. One of our Toledo expungement lawyers will be pleased to meet with you to discuss your situation.