Criminal Defense: Expungements
Expungement of a criminal conviction is an excellent way to put the past behind you and close a chapter on a past mistake. With an expungement of the record, a person can go forward with their life without being hunted by a prior conviction or having to disclose a criminal record. Expungements can provide a clean slate, piece of mind, and the freedom to pursue career opportunities that may not have been available with a criminal record.
Why spend the money to expunge my record?
If you have a criminal conviction and you do not expunge the record of that offense, you may never know the price of failing to expunge your record…in terms of employment, special licensing, credibility or missed opportunities. While most people expunge their records for employment or career-related reasons, a great many clients wish to expunge their record so that they may have closure and piece of mind for knowing that there is no record of their old mistake.
Will I need to appear in Court?
Every case is different and different courts have different requirements regarding hearings for expungements. In many cases, however, we are able to appear on your behalf so that you will not have to appear personally for the hearing. If appearing for a hearing is of concern to you because you are out of town or outside of the State of Ohio, please advise me of this early on in your case.
Who is eligible for an expungement?
You qualify if you meet all of the conditions described in Section 2953.31 to 2953.36 of the Ohio Revised Code, including:
The conviction you are trying to expunge is not one of the crimes precluded by law.
You were not subject to a mandatory prison term for the conviction. (If you were sentenced to prison time, but you were eligible for community control/probation, you would still qualify.)
"Eligible Offender" means either of the following:
(1) Anyone who has been convicted of one or more offenses, but not more than five felonies, in this state or any other jurisdiction, if all of the offenses in this state are felonies of the fourth or fifth degree or misdemeanors and none of those offenses are an offense of violence or a felony sex offense and all of the offenses in another jurisdiction, if committed in this state, would be felonies of the fourth or fifth degree or misdemeanors and none of those offenses would be an offense of violence or a felony sex offense; or
(2) Anyone who has been convicted of an offense in this state or any other jurisdiction, to whom the above paragraph does not apply, and who has not more than one felony conviction, not more than two misdemeanor convictions, or not more than one felony conviction and one misdemeanor conviction in this state or any other jurisdiction.
(A series of 2 or 3 convictions out of the same case shall be considered one conviction under the expungement statute.) (Minor misdemeanors including most traffic offenses do not count as a conviction.)
The statutory waiting period has passed for the conviction you seek to expunge.
You have no current or criminal charges pending against you.
What if I was charged, but the case was dismissed or I was found not guilty?
If you were charged but the case was dismissed or a court or jury found you not guilty, you can have the records of your charges expunged and sealed immediately.
Do the Records just Disappear?
Once your criminal record is expunged, nothing will show up when your record is checked. The Ohio statute states the offense shall be treated as if it never occurred. There are a few exceptions to this rule for law enforcement agencies, employers of medical care providers, employers of those who will provide care to minors. Only under certain circumstances would they be permitted to know if you have a sealed record.
Jeffrey G. Edleman
Attorney At Law
260 S. Main St., Suite 216
Amherst, OH 44001
T: (440) 823-4077
F: (440) 984-3338