Sealing Your Record in Ohio

What is commonly referred to as an expungement in Ohio is also known as a sealing of record. The law in Ohio provides that an eligible offender may be entitled to a sealing of record when certain conditions are met. To be an eligible offender, you may have an unlimited number of convictions so long as none of your convictions are offenses of violence, felony sex offenses, or felonies of the first, second, or third degree.  If one or more of your convictions keep you from being eligible based on an offense of violence, felony sex offense, or having an F1, F2, or F3, you may still qualify to have some of your cases sealed if you have no more than two felony convictions.


New Sealing of Conviction Eligibility Requirements (Expungement) Starting 04/12/2021

If you were not eligible under the previous law, you may now be eligible!  Under the previous law, someone was typically only eligible to have their record sealed if that record contained one felony and one misdemeanor or no more than two misdemeanors with no felony record as indicated above.  This has been vastly expanded to allow more people in Columbus, Ohio and any other cities or counties in Ohio to get out from under the shadow of a bad record.

How can This New Law Help me?

The new law starting April 12, 2021 allows someone to be eligible for sealing their record no matter how many convictions they have.  This is huge for those who were previously not allowed to get their records sealed due to having too many convictions.  The following is a bullet point outline to make it easier to determine if you may now be eligible.  For a more comprehensive check, go to our expungement qualifications page.

  • None of my felonies are of the first, second, or third degree
  • None of my felonies or misdemeanors are offenses of violence or felony sex offenses

Several Other Factors

There are several other factors that go into determining if one is an eligible offender and if the conviction itself can be expunged.

One of the many other qualifications for an expungement involves timing. When sealing the record of a felony three conviction, three years must have passed since the offender’s final discharge. When sealing the record of a misdemeanor conviction, felony five, or felony four, one year must have passed since the offender’s final discharge. It is also possible to have records of dismissals, bail forfeitures, and not guilty findings sealed or expunged.

When applying for an expungement, it is important to note that even if you are an eligible offender, many types of convictions are specifically excepted, meaning you cannot have them expunged or sealed.

The process of sealing a record often requires significant research, applications, a memorandum in support of the sealing of record, court fees, and a hearing. It is wise to hire an experienced Columbus expungement attorney to help you navigate Ohio’s expungement laws.

If you have prior records of convictions or dismissals hindering your ability to obtain gainful employment, certain licenses, and/or restoration of rights and privileges, contact The Maher Law Firm to find out how we can help.


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