HOW TO EXPUNGE AN OHIO CRIMINAL RECORD & RESTORE FIREARM RIGHTS
You Don't Always Need to be Looked at as Guilty
When you’re arrested in Ohio, a criminal record is created with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. These records are then forwarded to the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division, making the information relating to your arrest publicly available in a background check.
Fortunately, Ohio law permits the sealing of both misdemeanor and felony convictions, as well as arrest records. The Ohio Legislature has recently passed Senate Bill 66, making it much easier to qualify for this post-conviction remedy. If the sealing of your record is granted, the court must order all official records pertaining to the case to be sealed and treated as if it never occurred. The records will be unavailable to the public, and they will only be accessible to limited state agencies and a handful of employers involving vulnerable groups of people.
Sealing a criminal record can open doors to new opportunities, particularly when trying to obtain a job. Being able to truthfully state that you have not been convicted of a crime is often the difference between getting hired and getting rejected. Additionally, sealing your record can help with getting housing, restoring your firearm rights, qualifying for government programs, college admissions, and all the things in life that require a background check.
If you do not qualify to restore your firearm rights by sealing your record, Ohio also provides a separate firearm rights restoration process for those who have lost their firearm rights for either offenses of violence or felony drug crimes. This process restores your Second Amendment rights, but it will not remove your criminal record from the public record or background checks.
Our law firm has helped thousands of clients seal or expunge their criminal records, and we hear success stories from them often. If a criminal record is currently holding you back, keep reading to see if we can help.
Know Your Options
Ohio provides a few methods to seal, or limit the availability of, criminal records and restore your Second Amendment rights. It’s important to review the specific circumstances relating to the incidents on your record to determine the best method for you to deal with your criminal record.
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Ohio Firearm Rights Restoration Services
In most situations, restoring your firearm rights by sealing your record is better than using Ohio’s other firearm rights restoration process. Sealing also removes your criminal record from the public record and improves your ability to pass background checks. However, not everyone qualifies to seal their record, and, if you’ve been convicted of an offense of violence or a felony drug crime, Ohio’s firearm rights restoration process is often the only way to restore your right to own a firearm.
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Sealing Convictions in Ohio
Ohio also allows for the sealing of many misdemeanor and felony convictions. Since the passage of Senate Bill 66, Ohio has expanded its record sealing laws, allowing many Ohioans with multiple convictions that were previously ineligible to now seal their records. For most purposes, successfully sealing your record requires the court to treat your conviction as though it never occurred. In addition, unless there is another reason that your firearm rights have been restricted, sealing your record typically restores your firearm rights.
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Sealing Arrest Records in Ohio
Ohio State law allows for the sealing of criminal records for arrests records that did not result in a finding of guilt. When you’ve been acquitted, found not guilty, or no charges were filed after arrest, your charges were dismissed, or a grand jury returned a “no-bill,” Ohio has fairly lenient rules. In many of these cases, you are permitted to immediately seal the record.
This Information is for You
Since the majority of people reading this aren’t lawyers, we’ve tried to simplify the legal jargon on our website, so regular people may follow along and get the information needed to understand their rights. However, before we get started, we should be clear that some of this information can get complicated, and, in many cases, it’s best to seek the assistance of an experienced lawyer.
To help you understand your rights, our lawyers have developed a tool that can be helpful in figuring out your options. This tool can’t be perfectly accurate in every situation, but our lawyers have invested substantial time and resources working to make it as accurate as possible.
You can get started by using our Secure Eligibility Test, or you can give us a call at (844) 947-3732 to see if our legal staff is available for a free consultation. Be aware that our staff is often busy with current clients and a high volume of calls and appointments. If you’re serious about getting rid of your record, your best bet is to take the test and then schedule an appointment to discuss your results and options.
Legal Effects of Sealing Ohio Records
The two biggest issues our law firm’s clients encounter relate to obtaining employment and restoring firearm rights, so we’re going to discuss each. Ohio law permits you to seal both misdemeanor and felony convictions, seal arrest records, and restore firearm rights.
How will sealing my conviction or sealing my arrest record help me get a job?arrow_drop_down
Sealing an Ohio conviction or arrest is often the best way to improve your chances of getting a job with a criminal record. A granted order for record sealing requires all official records relating to the specific offense to be sealed, and, except in very limited circumstances, it allows you to legally state that you have not been arrested or convicted of the sealed record. Most employers cannot access sealed records, but there are certain exceptions for state employment and licensed facilities working with schools, home health agencies and financial agencies. The list of employers who may access sealed records is limited, and can be found in ORC 2953.32(d).
Ohio’s firearm right restoration process does not affect employer background checks, as its purpose is to restore Second Amendment rights that have been taken away or restricted.
Will Sealing My Record Restore My Second Amendment Right to Own and Possess a Firearm?arrow_drop_down
In many cases, yes. Not everybody with a conviction in Ohio can restore their constitutional right to own or possess firearms, but Ohio’s laws are favorable when compared to other states. Unless there is another reason your firearm rights were removed, sealing a conviction that took your firearm rights away will restore them.
If you do not qualify to seal your record, you may also use Ohio’s firearm right restoration process outlined in ORC 2923.14. It is much easier to qualify to restore your firearms using this process, but it will not help with obtaining employment like record sealing.
It should be noted that you can almost never restore firearm rights based on federal convictions, and it can be difficult if your Second Amendment rights were taken away due to a domestic violence conviction. For more information about federal firearm rights and domestic violence charges, the Department of Justice has resources you can find over domestic violence convictions.
We will go into more detail regarding restoring Second Amendment rights in Ohio on our Ohio Firearm Rights Restoration page, but restoration typically involves both state and federal law that should be handled by an experienced lawyer. The lawyers in our firm regularly handle complex firearm rights restoration issues, so a good first step in exploring whether you can restore your firearm rights would be to take our Secure Eligibility Test. Then, if appropriate, set up a time to speak with our legal staff about how to proceed.
What You Need to Do to Get Rid of Your Record
If you are tired of having a criminal record hold you back, reach out to us by taking our Secure Eligibility Test or by giving us a call at (844) 947-3732. Our law firm has helped thousands of people with criminal records move on in life, leaving many of the negative effects of a criminal record behind. Our experienced attorneys and legal staff are here to help you figure out what criminal record clearing services best fit your needs, and then help you accomplish your goals. Using our secure, confidential Eligibility Test is the best way to get the process started.
Some of the potential benefits of sealing your criminal record in Ohio include:
- Removing a finding of guilt from your criminal record to help you get a better job
- Becoming eligible for professional licenses you previously did not qualify for
- Restoring your Second Amendment Right to bear arms
- No longer being treated as a felon
- Increased eligibility for student loans, housing assistance, and government programs
- Improving your ability to obtain higher-paying job opportunities
- Improving access and admission to college and other educational resources
Each of Ohio’s methods for dealing with your criminal record have different requirements and are meant for different circumstances. To move forward, it’s important to determine what Ohio criminal record services are available to you, and then select the services that will provide the greatest benefit. Eastman Meyler, PC is here to help you navigate this very specific area of Ohio criminal law, fight to protect your rights, and assist you in moving forward in life without the effects of an Ohio criminal record.
You can trust that you will get exceptional service from our law firm, as we have an A Rating from the Better Business Bureau, and prestigious attorney rating services such as Thompson Reuters and Avvo list our attorneys as Super Lawyers and Superb Attorneys. Our law firm has attorneys licensed to practice law in all Ohio state courts, provides low price guarantees, and is here to fight for you and put your criminal record behind you!