SEALING ARREST RECORDS IN OHIO
If You Weren't Convicted, You Should't Be Treated Like A Criminal
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, even without an official charge or conviction.
Thankfully, Ohio law (ORC 2953.52) permits the sealing of most arrests that did not result in conviction. 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.
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.
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 our secure, confidential Eligibility Test and then schedule an appointment to discuss your results and options.
Can You Get Your Record Sealed?
In most cases, Ohio’s rules for sealing arrest records are straightforward. Ohio law (ORC 2953.52) allows you to seal arrest records that did not result in a conviction or a finding of guilt. However, there are a few situations where sealing your record requires a waiting period, and, in some situations, you may not qualify at all.
- When Can You Seal Your Arrest Record Immediately?expand_more
You were acquitted or found not guilty at trial
Your conviction was overturned on appeal
Your charges were dismissed without prejudice and the prosecutor does not file an objection
Your charges were dismissed with prejudice and
You were never charged, and it has been at least two years since your arrest.
- When Can You Seal Arrest with Waiting Periods?expand_more
There are two situations where sealing an arrest conviction requires a waiting period, which include:
When a grand jury returns a “No-Bill,” you must wait two years from the date the grand jury decided not to indict you and
When your charges are dismissed without prejudice, the prosecutor objects, and the statute of limitations has not run for the dismissed offense, you must wait for the statute of limitations to expire.
What Is a No-Bill?
When a grand jury returns a No-Bill, it means that a grand jury has issued a report that an indictment should not be filed against you for the commission of the offense you were charged with.
Dismissals Where The Prosecutor Objects
When your charges are dismissed with prejudice, it means that they can never be refiled. When your charges are dismissed without prejudice, it means that the prosecutor may file charges against you until the statute of limitations for the offense expires.
Ohio law allows you to apply to seal your arrest record immediately after your charges are dismissed with prejudice. If the charges were dismissed without prejudice, the prosecutor can object to the sealing until the statute of limitations expire. In these situations, you need to determine what the statute of limitations are for the offense you were charged with.
A Statute of Limitations is the time allowed for the state to file criminal charges for an offense. The statute of limitations for some cases is as short as one year, while some serious criminal offenses have no limit and can be filed at any time, even decades after the crime occurred (an example would be murder). In Ohio, most criminal offenses have statutes of limitation range from six months to 20 years. These time periods may vary, so you often need to research your criminal offense to find the right statute of limitation.
- Same Criminal Episode Exceptionexpand_more
If other charges resulted from the same set of events or subject matter, they will typically be deemed to be part of the same criminal act under Ohio law (ORC 2953.61). If you are convicted of any number of charges in the same set of events or subject matter, you’re typically prohibited from sealing the charges where you were not convicted, until those conviction charges also qualify to be sealed. If the other charges will never qualify for sealing, you will never be able to seal the otherwise eligible charges.
Legal Effect Of Sealing Your Arrest Record
- How Will Sealing My Record Help Me Get a Jobexpand_more
Sealing an Ohio arrest record is one of the best ways to improve your chances of obtaining a job with a criminal record. 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. Except in very limited circumstances, sealing allows you to legally state that you have not been arrested or convicted of the sealed record.
Most employers cannot access sealed records, however, 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).
- Will Expunging My Juvenile Record Restore My Second Amendment Rights?expand_more
Sealing an arrest record will likely have no effect on your firearm rights, as an arrest can almost never restrict your firearm rights in the first place. With that said, unless there is another reason your firearm rights have been removed, Ohio law specifically states that sealing a conviction that took your firearm rights away will restore them (ORC 2953.33).
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 Arrest 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 Setting Aside Your Arrest Record in Ohio Include:
Removing a finding of guilt and closing the case on your criminal record to help you get a better job
Restoring your Second Amendment Rights to own a firearm
Becoming eligible for professional licenses you previously did not qualify for
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
We Are Here to Help
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 a 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!