How Can I Seal or Expunge My Record?
Sealing of a record is a court order to seal your record from commercial background check services.
Expungement means to completely eliminate a record as if it never happened. It will be permanently unretrievable and it can never be found again. Expungement is not currently an available option in Ohio except for juvenile records.
Every case is unique, and there are certain convictions that cannot be sealed. A sealed record is searchable by certain government entities. A criminal defense attorney can help determine if yours is sealable and to what degree it is searchable.
When Can My Juvenile Record be Expunged?
When eligible, a juvenile record may be sealed. Only once the record is officially sealed, five years later or at age 23, the records are automatically expunged.
It is possible to seal a juvenile record earlier. For example, a juvenile who wishes to apply to the armed services, may apply to have the record sealed and expunged as soon as possible. Hiring a criminal defense attorney to assist with this process can make it much more likely for the early expungement to be granted.
Can I File For Record Seal By Myself?
You can file to have your records sealed or expunged according to ORC 2151.358. However, pursuing any court process on your own or pro se can be complicated. More importantly it can be unproductive. We have received numerous calls over the years from people who needed our help after they paid several filing fees only to be denied multiple times on their own. An experienced criminal defense firm will put together a package to be submitted to the court that is most likely to achieve the desired result.
How Can Having My Record Sealed Help In My Job Search?
Having been charged or both charged and convicted of a crime will show up on your record and may raise many questions from future employers. A record can also affect your ability to get a loan, adopt a child or pet, volunteer at your child’s school, and many other aspects of your life.
Having your record sealed keeps your case information and personal information such as DNA, fingerprints, etc. from anyone in the general public.
Once granted, an actual physical seal is put over the file that can only be broken under very specific conditions and by very specific entities.
Call an experienced criminal defense attorney today to find out how to seal your record and if you or someone you love yet qualifies.
Written by The Law Office of Brian Jones, LLC & Jones Holistic Defense
-Dr. Benjamin Jackoby, Dr. “Hank” Jackoby
Ohio Laws and Administrative Rules, ORC 2151.356