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Can My Criminal Record Be Sealed in Ohio?

 Posted on July 13, 2020 in Criminal Defense

Brunswick criminal defense attorney record sealing

As soon as you are arrested, a permanent stain will appear on your criminal record. This is true even if the arrest does not amount to a criminal charge or conviction. Unfortunately, your criminal record can largely influence your future in terms of educational and professional opportunities since the information on this record may automatically disqualify you for certain jobs. The state of Ohio has recognized the damaging effects that this societal stigma can have on those who have paid for their crimes and are trying to move forward with their lives. In order to give these individuals a second chance, Ohio legislation allows individuals with a criminal record to apply to seal their records. Since gaining the approval to seal your criminal record can be life-changing, it is important to see if you are eligible and to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney for help in completing the process.

What Does Record Sealing Do?

When you go to a job interview or apply for college, you have likely seen the “Have you committed a crime?” checkbox. For those who have never been arrested or convicted of a crime, this may not appear daunting. However, this little box can disqualify those with a criminal background from being considered for these opportunities. The state does not allow for the complete destruction of these records, but there is a way to secure these records from public review. When a record is sealed, any paper and electronic records of your arrest and criminal charges are filed in a separate and secure location. These records can still be accessed by a number of individuals, including the following:

  • Law enforcement and legal officials (prosecutors, judges) in future criminal investigations

  • Employers in law enforcement, positions working with children or elderly, and some occupations at financial institutions and real estate agencies

  • State-professional licensing boards (State Medical Board, State Board of Nursing)

Do I Qualify for Record Sealing?

There are a number of offenses that cannot be sealed, most of which are sex crimes or traffic violations. The details of your sentence can affect your eligibility. If you were sentenced to mandatory prison time, without the possibility of probation, you are unable to seal your record. However, even if you did get sentenced to time behind bars, but probation was a possibility, you remain eligible to seal your record. Those applying to seal their records must have a year since their last misdemeanor conviction, and sentence completion, and over three years since they were convicted of a felony and completed their sentence. Applicants must not have any currently pending criminal or traffic violations and they cannot have any other criminal cases sealed.

Call a Medina Criminal Law Attorney

Having a criminal record can greatly reduce your ability to get into college or find a job, even if you were never actually convicted of the crime. For those who made a mistake a few years back or are looking to change their life after finishing their sentence, criminal record sealing is a valid option that they should consider. The Law Offices of Andrew M. Parker, LLC works to give those with a criminal record a second chance in life. As you can see, the record sealing qualifications are very specific and the application process requires great attention to detail, making it critical for you to work with someone who is well-versed in this area. For help getting your criminal record sealed, contact our skilled Medina County criminal defense lawyer at 330-725-4114. We offer free consultations in most cases.




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