Ohio Expungement Lawyer

Expungement Lawyer in Cleveland, OH 

Sealing Your Criminal Record

A criminal record can follow you around years after you have completed your sentence, and can prevent you from getting a job, a promotion, and even residing in certain places. That is why it is important to consider expunging old arrests that did not result in conviction, and sealing the record of any conviction that is eligible under Ohio law. 

If you successfully seal a record of conviction, legally speaking, your record will be the same as it was before you were convicted - as if you were never charged or found guilty of a crime.

At Norman Law, our firm assists clients across Cleveland,  and the state of Ohio in a range of matters concerning post-conviction relief – including expungements / record sealing, restoration of civil and firearm rights, and pardons. Contact us to learn how we can help.

How to File for an Expungement in Ohio

Norman Law knows legal procedures can be tedious and confusing. If you've been convicted of a crime and want to have your record expunged, working with an experienced advocate can make all the difference.

The Process:

First, we answer your first question, “Can I get my record expunged?” The next question is usually “how long after my case do I wait to get my record expunged?” Finally, if eligible now, we gather all the appropriate documentation, complete the application and necessary paperwork, file the application with the court, and attend a hearing when ordered.

Benefits of Sealing Your Criminal Record

Sealing a criminal conviction prevents people from accessing records of your conviction, with very few exceptions. If you qualify for expungement, and have successfully completed your sentence, including probation and paying all fines and restitution, you may be eligible to have your records sealed and expunged.

This has many benefits, including:

  • Employment: Competition for employment can be fierce, and criminal records have the potential to create a number of limitations when it comes to finding work. In addition to application screenings and employers who prioritize candidates without a criminal history, some convictions can prevent individuals from working certain jobs or holding certain licenses. If you successfully expunge a conviction, you are not required by law to disclose the expunged conviction when applying for most employment. 
  • Citizenship: If you are not yet a United States citizen but plan to start the naturalization process, a criminal record can create challenges. For limited purposes, law enforcement and federal agencies can access your criminal records even after expungement, but it is still advantageous when applying for citizenship.
  • Licensing: Driver's licenses and other professional licenses may be difficult to obtain for those with a criminal history. For example, the Ohio BMV may require you to list criminal convictions when applying for or renewing your driver's license. However, if you qualify for and obtain expungement, you may indicate you were convicted but the particular offense was expunged.
  • Housing: If you are looking to buy a house, rent an apartment, or qualify for government housing, you may have to indicate whether you have criminal convictions on your record. In some strict communities or private communities, you may be denied housing for having one or more convictions. Expungement can release you from the obligation to disclose these convictions when applying for housing.

Expungement Eligibility in Ohio

The requirements for being an eligible offender were recently expanded by the Ohio legislature in October of 2018. Some of the changes include:

  • You can now expunge multiple convictions;
  • You can now have up to five felonies expunged if they are felonies of the 4th or 5th degree;
  • You can expunge unlimited misdemeanors.
Have questions about record sealing in Ohio?

Call (216) 487-7055 contact us online to determine if you’re eligible for expungement, and discuss how we can help.

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