Sealing or Expunging Court Records
Application Times for Sealings: (ORC 2953.32B)
- Expiration of 3 years after final discharge of one or more 3rd degree felonies (except for theft in office).
- Expiration of 1 year after final discharge if convicted, or one or more 4th or 5th degree felonies, or one or more misdemeanors (with exception of felony offense of violence or theft in office).
- Expiration of 7 years after final discharge for soliciting improper compensation in violation of theft in office.
- For conviction subject to SORN law prior to January 1, 2008, 5 years after requirements ended for duty to register.
- 6 months from final discharge for minor misdemeanor.
- Victims of human trafficking may apply to expunge at any time (exception of Aggravated Murder, Murder, or Rape).
Certain Convictions Excluded: (ORC 2953.32A)
- Any 1st or 2nd degree felony, or more than 2 3rd degree felonies.
- Convictions for motor vehicle offenses.
- Convictions for sexual acts (excluding Unlawful Sexual Conduct and specific violations where victim was less than 13 years of age if SORN order has been terminated).
- Convictions for offenses of violence if misdemeanors of the 1st degree (excluding Riot, Assault, Inciting to Violence, Inducing Panic, Aggravated Menacing, Menacing by Stalking, Gross Patient Abuse, Attempt to Intimidate Witness or Crime Victim and Endangering Children unless victim was less than 13 years of age.
- Convictions where victim was less than 13 years of age and offense is a misdemeanor of the 1st degree (excluding Non-Support).
How and when to file:
You can file an application to have a record sealed on a misdemeanor conviction 1 year after the case is finished (finished INCLUDES 1 year after being discharged from probation, fines and or costs paid and restitution paid). Forms for filing can be obtained at the Clerk’s office or visiting the Court Webpage and must accompany a $50 filing fee (no personal checks). Forms MUST be filed in person and a photo ID must be shown.
Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 2953.22, you may be required to be fingerprinted.
All sealings will require a hearing which is set 45 to 90 days from the date of filing.
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 and 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. 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.
When a court orders a record sealed, it is effective on the date of the order to seal the official 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 businesses may download information for 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.
If you still have questions regarding having a record sealed, you may want to seek the advice of an attorney.