How can I have my record sealed?
An eligible offender pursuant to ORC 2953.31 includes:
One (1) felony conviction or less
Two (2) separate misdemeanor convictions
No more than one (1) felony and one (1) misdemeanor
Certain convictions excluded:
Convictions for Motor Vehicle Offenses (Note that an OVI conviction and a Driving Under an OVI Suspension count as a prior conviction as well as Drag Racing and Leaving the Scene of an Accident and these violations cannot be sealed)
Convictions for sexual acts
Convictions for offenses of violence if misdemeanors of first degree (excluding Riot, Assault, Inciting to Violence and Inducing Panic)
Convictions where victim was less than eighteen years of age and offense is misdemeanor of first degree (excluding Non-Support).
How and when to file:
You can file an application to have a record sealed on a misdemeanor conviction one (1) year after the case is finished (finished INCLUDES one year after being discharged from probation, fines and/or costs are paid and restitution paid). Forms for filing can be obtained at the Clerks Office or here and must accompany a $50.00 filing fee (no personal checks). Forms MUST be filed in person and a photo ID must be shown.
Pursuant to O.R.C. 2953.22, you may be required to be fingerprinted.
Please understand that if your request to have a record sealed is granted by the Judge, there is a period of time before it is officially sealed on your record at the Bureau of Information & Identification. Also, given the rapid pace of information obtained on the internet, it is still possible for someone to have obtained conviction information prior to the order to seal the record.
DISCLAIMER: When a court orders a record sealed, it is effective on the date of the order to seal the offcial record and the record of the arresting agency and jail, if applicable. While a case is pending and until a record is sealed, it is a public record. While a public record, individuals and private business may download information from court, police, or jail files. The court order to seal does not undo such dissemination or apply to private businesses that may have downloaded your case information before the sealing.
THEREFORE, private businesses may still have your case information even after your official record is sealed. If you become aware of such knowledge, it is your responsibility to notify the holder of the information and request that they comply with the spirit of the sealing law and delete their records. You should be aware that, under current law, they are not required to do so.
If you still have questions regarding having a record sealed, you may want to seek the advice of an attorney.