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Record Sealing & Expungement

Brad Wolfe Provides Sealing and Expungement Services in Cleveland, Ohio.

Top Rated Sealing & Expungement Attorney in Cleveland, Ohio

A criminal record of convictions, arrests, and even dismissed charges, can complicate employment opportunities, educational applications, and the ability to acquire certain loans. In Ohio, the law provides for the “sealing” and “expungement” of certain adult and juvenile records. When records are sealed, a judge has used their discretion to determine that one’s criminal past should be kept private from the general public. However, even when sealed, certain government officials and types of employers can still view a complete record for various policy reasons. Expungement is a process that destroys the record, erasing it completely from public view “as if it had not occurred.” Only a select group of government agencies hold record of an expungement and are only permitted to share that information under limited circumstances. 

On April 4, 2023, the Ohio General Assembly passed significant updates to Ohio’s sealing and expungement laws. Applicants may now apply for the sealing and expungement of eligible convictions, even if they have others which remain ineligible. Unchanged are court expectations that require applicants to provide evidence they will not be likely to reoffend, ensuring they have been “rehabilitated to the satisfaction of the court.” Applicants can do this in a variety of ways such as demonstrating stable employment history, housing, or substance treatment, depending on their personal history and convictions. 

Certain crimes are still not eligible for sealing or expungement. These include offenses of violence, domestic violence, crimes committed against children, most sexually based crimes, and many traffic offenses. Applicants must not have any pending charges, wait to file until they have been discharged, and fully complete all components of their sentence before they can apply.

For applicants seeking to seal their records, they must wait six months to a year for misdemeanors, one year for a fourth or fifth-degree felony, and up to three years for a third-degree felony. For a select group of sex offenders eligible for sealing, there is a five-year waiting period following completion of registry requirements. Misdemeanors seeking to be expunged have the same timeline as to seal, however, for fourth or fifth-degree felonies the waiting period jumps to eleven years, and for third-degree felonies to thirteen years.

An experienced attorney can help determine if you are eligible to have your record sealed or expunged, draft and file appropriate applications, and appear by your side in court.

Contact Brad Wolfe Law, L.L.C. Today

Brad Wolfe is a Cleveland defense lawyer who provides Sealing and Expungement services. Please call (216) 815-6000 to speak with Brad today.

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