You may be wondering what crimes can be expunged in Ohio. And I have good news and bad news. The good news is that in recent years, the legal system in Ohio has expanded the range of crimes as well as the number of crimes that can be expunged.
The bad news is that there is really no big list of crimes that can now be expunged. There is, however, a long list of crimes that CANNOT be expunged, ever, under any circumstances. If your crime is NOT on that list, chances are good that it can be expunged, at least provided that you don’t have committed too many of them.
In fact, most misdemeanors can be expunged as well as most class four and class five felonies. As of 2019, some class three felonies became expungeable as well, and the laws have become even more lenient in 2021. However, in order for any crimes to be expunged, they must have been non-violent, cannot have involved sex in any way, and they cannot have involved a minor,
The above is true for crimes you have been convicted of. However, if you have been charged with certain crimes but not convicted of them because the case was either dismissed or you were declared not guilty, then you will qualify for expungement as well in most cases.
What Crimes CANNOT Be Expunged in Delaware, Ohio?
When it comes to crimes that cannot be expunged, the opposite of the above is true. First of all, no felonies of the first and second degree can be expunged. The same is true for most third degree felonies. Review the Ohio Revised Code for details.
Moreover, no crimes involving any type of violence or battery can be expunged. The same is true for any type of crime involving sex, including rape, sexual battery, or any kind of sexual imposition.
In addition, no crimes involving sexuality and/or minors can be expunged, such as pandering obscenity involving minor or impaired persons, pandering sexually oriented matter to the same kind of person. Illegal use of minors in nudity-oriented materials or performances also disqualifies one from expungement.
Finally, any crimes performed by way of operating a motor vehicle also cannot be expunged.
Of course this is not a complete list, and there are also exceptions. That’s why you should always consult an experienced expungement attorney to make sure.
On the other hand, any felony and misdemeanor charges that have been dismissed or where the defendant was declared not guilty are eligible to be expunged.
How Many Crimes Can Be Expunged in Delaware, Ohio?
The newly updated laws in Ohio eliminated (or at least greatly increased) the limit on the number of crimes that can be expunged. Basically, eligible offenders can qualify for an unlimited number of misdemeanors to be expunged, or even for an unlimited number of qualifying felonies of the fourth or the fifth degree, as long as none of them involve violence or anything sexual.
There are still situations where someone may not be able to have unlimited convictions expunged, but they can likely qualify for four expungements, either four misdemeanors or two misdemeanors and two felonies.
In addition, if two or three convictions come from the same action or occurred within a short period of time, such as three months, and were tried in the same legal preceding, they can be combined and then count as one crime for the purpose of expungement. This can then increase the number of crimes that can be expunged.
Moreover, for crimes that never resulted in a conviction, there is no limit to the number of them that can be expunged. In case you wonder why someone would want to have those records expunged, you should know that they can make it hard to get a job, rent an apartment, buy a house, or even get credit.
How Long Do You Have To Wait Until Applying for Expungement?
Another thing that has changed in favor of those who want to get their criminal records expunged is how long they have to wait. Not only had it been difficult to have multiple crimes expunged, but there was also a much longer waiting period for multiple crimes before you could apply for expungement.
There is still a waiting time before you can apply for expungement, which starts from the time you finished your sentence as well as probation. However, for misdemeanors and felonies of the fourth or fifth degree, you only have to wait one year. After a felony of the third degree, you’ll have to wait three years before applying to have your record expunged.
How to Apply to Have a Record Expunged?
First, go to the court (or courts) where you were convicted to get the sealing application form. Carefully read the form and follow all instructions. Be sure to keep a copy for your files. Take the form to the court and pay your filing fee.
Go to your hearing and explain how your conviction is hurting you by making it difficult to find a job or housing. The prosecutor may also have filed a response, arguing that it is in the public’s best interest not to seal your record.
To improve your chances of success, you may want to talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer or an expungement lawyer and have them look over your case. We have that experience. Call or email us for a free consultation. We’ll be happy to talk with you.