My waiting period will be over in April of 2011 so that I can file for expungement of a minor misdemeanor, disorderly conduct w/persistence. I have NO prior offenses, including civil and traffic.
How do I begin the process?
Do I need an attorney?
How much will it cost?
How often are expungements granted?
What make my chances better?
Check with the clerk's office for the court of jurisdiction. They may have a standard application form for you to fill out. There may be an application fee. The clerks cannot give you legal advice. You may be required to appear at a hearing. If there is no standard application form, or if you do not want to appear pro se (without an attorney) should the prosecutor object to the granting of your application, you may wish to be represented.
Seems you know whether you are eligible. Excerpt from Ohio Revised Code:
2953.32 Sealing of conviction record or bail forfeiture record.
(A)(1) Except as provided in section 2953.61 of the Revised Code, a first offender may apply to the sentencing court if convicted in this state, or to a court of common pleas if convicted in another state or in a federal court, for the sealing of the conviction record. Application may be made at the expiration of three years after the offender’s final discharge if convicted of a felony, or at the expiration of one year after the offender’s final discharge if convicted of a misdemeanor.
(B) Upon the filing of an application under this section, the court shall set a date for a hearing and shall notify the prosecutor for the case of the hearing on the application. The prosecutor may object to the granting of the application by filing an objection with the court prior to the date set for the hearing. The prosecutor shall specify in the objection the reasons for believing a denial of the application is justified. The court shall direct its regular probation officer, a state probation officer, or the department of probation of the county in which the applicant resides to make inquiries and written reports as the court requires concerning the applicant.
Your chances are good considering your only conviction is for a minor misdemeanor.
This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. The answer presumes you are not currently represented by an attorney who knows your specific circumstances.
Criminal Defense Attorney
As long as your eligible, meaning you are a first time offender with no other offenses on your record, then it a fairly simple process. The Clerks office should have a form for you to fill out and there is usually a filing fee involved, usually $50.00 (Check with your local clerk to find out the exact amount) You should be able to complete this without an attorney.