Criminal Record Sealing in Ohio
Kyle J. Bristow, Copyright© 2012
In Ohio, some criminal records can be sealed. In most cases, a sealed criminal record will not show up during background checks. This can be invaluable when it comes to applying for a job. In fact, for most employment opportunities, an individual who has had a criminal record sealed may even mark on job applications that they have not been convicted of a crime when said crime has been sealed.
Did you know that if the government filed criminal charges against you that were either dismissed or resulted in a "not guilty" verdict, such entries may still show up in your records? It is often advisable to seek the sealing or expungement of such entries for employment purposes.
All adult criminal offenses may be sealed, except for the following:
- Any first or second degree felony
- All traffic offenses
- Any offense with a mandatory prison term
- Any offense of violence or threatened violence (except misdemeanor assault)
- Any sexual offense
- Knowingly offering to sell a car with a tampered odometer
- Tampering with a vehicle’s odometer
- Selling or possessing a master key designed to fit more than one vehicle
- Driving under suspension
- Offenses with purpose to conceal or destroy identity of car or its parts
- Operating a vehicle while intoxicated (i.e., OVI, DUI)
- Street racing
- Leaving the scene of an accident
Juvenile offenses may be sealed, except for murder or rape.
The law of criminal record sealing in Ohio is contained within Chapter 2953.32 of the Revised Code. ( http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2953.32)
In order for one to qualify for the sealing of a criminal record, one must be an “eligible offender." An eligible offender is defined as a person who “has not more than one felony conviction, not more than two misdemeanor convictions if the convictions are not of the same offense, or not more than one felony conviction and one misdemeanor conviction in this state or any other jurisdiction." This means that people with the following convictions or combinations of convictions will be eligible for the sealing of their record: (1) one felony conviction; (2) one misdemeanor conviction; (3) one felony conviction and one misdemeanor conviction; or (4) two misdemeanor convictions. Convictions of “minor misdemeanors" do not count as convictions for purposes of determining eligibility for a criminal record sealing.
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