Ohio has laws in place that allow certain people to seal their criminal records. Known as expungement, this legal process removes record of your previous criminal convictions for most purposes. If approved, you may not have to tell a potential employer that you have a conviction on your record. You can get an apartment without worrying you will fail the background check.
While the Ohio process for getting an expungement is fairly straightforward, it is important to ensure you meet the qualifications and know how to manage the process with the court. An expungement lawyer in Cincinnati, OH can guide you through this process. The team at The Law Offices of Steven R. Adams, LLC can begin working on your case quickly, getting the process underway.
Meet with a member of our team to discuss your expungement. If you decide you want our help, we are here to ensure you meet all requirements for the expungement process. Call us at 513-929-9333 to get started.
Who Qualifies for Expungement in Cincinnati?
Expunging your record is a great idea, especially if you cannot continue your previous work or cannot advance in your job because of your criminal history. Some people need to obtain a certain professional license, or they may want to move into a new apartment. No matter the reason you want to seal your record, we can help as long as you meet the requirements.
Section 2953.32 of the Ohio Revised Code outlines the conditions you must meet to get your record expunged. This includes:
- You cannot have more than two misdemeanor convictions or more than one felony and one misdemeanor conviction.
- You cannot have a record that includes violation of certain serious laws.
- The applicable statutory waiting period is over. (One year after completion of sentence for misdemeanor, three years after completion of sentence for felony.)
- You have no pending criminal charges.
Convictions that do not meet these criteria do not qualify for expungement under Ohio law.
What Can I Expect from the Ohio Expungement Process?
It is important to remember that having your criminal records sealed is a special privilege granted by the court and is not a right. Even if you meet every qualification, the court can still turn down your request. The process to file an expungement motion is relatively simple, but still probably not something you want to handle on your own.
We know what to expect during this process, including which paperwork to submit and when, the proper formats in which to submit documents, and what judges are looking for when they consider an expungement request. Our team has helped countless people seal their criminal records in various Ohio courts, and we will use the knowledge we gained in each of those situations to help you get a positive resolution, as well.
Once we ensure you meet all qualifications, the first thing we will do is to file an expungement motion with the court where you received your initial sentence. Once the judge has received notification of your desire to seal your records, the court sets a hearing date.
The hearing gives us a chance to outline our argument for why you should receive an expungement and why this is important for your future. In some cases, these are oral arguments. In others, we must submit them in writing. These arguments play a key role in whether you receive approval for your expungement. We must demonstrate that you are now a law-abiding citizen and that justice would be better served by granting you expungement of your records.
If the court decides to expunge your criminal record, it will then notify the parties tasked with storing these records. These parties must permanently seal all printed records or digital files. They need to destroy or delete all index records or other mentions of the case.
From this point on and for most purposes, you can live your life like your conviction never occurred. You may not have to tell potential employers you were once convicted of a crime, and your background check will come back clear.
Why Should I Hire an Attorney to Walk Me Through the Expungement Process?
While filing an expungement motion is not difficult, it is far from the only step in the expungement process. You can certainly attempt to handle this on your own, but are you comfortable with writing a persuasive argument on your own behalf and/or presenting it in front of a judge?
Your case for expungement is going to be the only persuasive factor the judge looks at, so you want it to be the best it can be. It needs to say exactly what the judge is looking for — that you have rehabilitated and are living a law-abiding, positive lifestyle.
We can prepare your argument for you and present it to the judge. We will stand behind you throughout this entire process, and fight to clear your record. You can feel confident we are working hard on your behalf.
Even if another attorney told you that you did not meet the qualifications for expungement, it pays to discuss your case with us. In 2014, the Ohio Legislature changed the qualifications for expungement. Because of this, some people who were not eligible before can now file a motion and request expungement. We can evaluate your situation and tell you if you qualify.
Are You Looking for a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Cincinnati, OH?
If you are facing criminal charges, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Cincinnati office directly at 513-929-9333 to schedule your free consultation.