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Sealing Your Criminal Record To Improve Your Life

Ohio doesn’t expunge crimes, but the state does allow for record sealing in some cases. If you are applying for a job or seeking housing, a loan or grant money, it can be of great help to be able to answer “no” on the “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” question.

Attorney Adam Stone’s focus is on Ohio criminal defense. At Eyer Stone, LTD, he will assess your issue and offer an honest evaluation as to whether you will be able to have your records sealed. Call 419-561-9840 and set up a consultation.

What Does It Mean To Have My Records Sealed?

Expungement, or having your record wiped clean, is not an option in Ohio. However, having your record “sealed” may be available to you in certain instances. Once sealed, your record is no longer public, so a prospective employer, school or housing provider will not be able to view anything that is in the sealed documents. This means that you are not required to admit to or disclose the sealed incidents.

“Sealed” therefore means that, for all practical purposes, the charge does not exist. There are, however, some charges that will prevent certain types of employment, so it is wise to consult with an attorney regarding your case and the employment, housing or military duty you are seeking. Attorney Stone offers experienced guidance on how to get your Ohio criminal record sealed.

Who Should Seek A Record Sealing?

Anyone who has been charged with a misdemeanor or fourth- or fifth-degree felony may want to explore getting their record sealed. Here are some common questions.

What if I was arrested but never charged?

If you were never charged and never went to court, you can write the chief of police and request that your record be sealed. If you need guidance on this process, attorney Stone can help.

What if I have a juvenile record?

With some exceptions, Ohio records for those under 18 can be both sealed and expunged. This may not be the case if you were charged as an adult.

Are there options other than expungement or the sealing of a criminal record?

Yes. If your record cannot be sealed, you may still be able to apply for a Certificate of Qualification for Employment (CQE). The purpose of the CQE is to help people move forward and live full and productive lives. The process is online. If you are unsure of this process or whether to apply, set up an appointment with attorney Stone. He can help you understand if you qualify and how to apply.

Which charges cannot be sealed?

Generally speaking, first-, second- and third-degree felony convictions and sexual assault, including rape, as well as convictions for offenses that involve children are not eligible for sealing. Violent crime and OVI/DUI convictions are typically not able to be sealed, either. Ultimately, the Ohio court decides which records are sealed.

Requesting that your record be sealed generally cannot happen right after a charge. Usually, you must wait at least six months, although typically, it can be a year or two. A felony charge can only be sealed after a waiting period of three to five years. The exception to this rule is if you were found not guilty or if your case was dropped. Then you can file immediately.

Find Out If Your Records Can Be Sealed

Your whole life can change when a past conviction or charge “goes away.” Ohio criminal defense attorney Adam Stone offers proven guidance, support and representation in these matters. Call and find out more: 419-561-9840. You can also connect with attorney Stone via website contact email. Leave a short description or question, and he will get back to you. With an office in Bucyrus, the firm serves clients throughout Crawford County.