Sealing Court Records
An "eligible offender" means either of the following:
Anyone who has been convicted of one or more offenses in this state or any other jurisdiction, if all of the offenses in this state are felonies of the fourth or fifth degree or misdemeanors and none of those offenses are an offense of violence or a felony sex offense and all of the offenses in another jurisdiction, if committed in this state, would be felonies of the fourth or fifth degree or misdemeanors and none of those offenses would be an offense of violence or a felony sex offense;
Anyone who has been convicted of an offense in this state or any other jurisdiction, to whom the above paragraph of this section does not apply, and who has not more than two felony convictions, has not more than four misdemeanor convictions, or, if the person has exactly two felony convictions, has not more than those two felony convictions and two misdemeanor convictions in this state or any other jurisdiction. The conviction that is requested to be sealed shall be a conviction that is eligible for sealing as provided in section 2953.36 of the Revised Code. When two or more convictions result from or are connected with the same act or result from offenses committed at the same time, they shall be counted as one conviction. When two or three convictions result from the same indictment, information, or complaint, from the same plea of guilty, or from the same official proceeding, and result from related criminal acts that were committed within a three-month period but do not result from the same act or from offenses committed at the same time, they shall be counted as one conviction, provided that a court may decide as provided in division (C)(1)(a) of section 2953.32 of the Revised Code that it is not in the public interest for the two or three convictions to be counted as one conviction.
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 (excluding Unlawful Sexual Conduct and specific violations where victim was less than eighteen years of age if SORN order has been terminated)
- Convictions for offenses of violence if misdemeanors of the first degree (excluding Riot, Assault, Inciting to Violence and Inducing Panic)
- Convictions where victim was less than sixteen years of age and offense is a misdemeanor of the 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 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 visiting the Court Forms Webpage and must accompany a $60 filing fee AND an additional $10 processing fee for EACH case number (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.
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 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.
If you still have questions regarding having a record sealed, you may want to seek the advice of an attorney.