September 20, 2022 | Ohio Law
A conviction for any crime in Ohio can result in jail time and the assessment of fines. A conviction will also create a criminal record that will follow you long after your jail time is complete and your fines are paid. This criminal record can impact your life in ways that may make it difficult to put your offense behind you.
Having your conviction expunged, or removed, from your record may help provide you with the fresh start you need. The expungement process is neither quick nor automatic. It can take some time to complete and remove a misdemeanor conviction from your record.
Your Criminal Record Is Not Automatically Erased
Your conviction record in Ohio does not automatically get wiped clean just because time has passed. Twenty years may have passed since your misdemeanor conviction, and it would still appear on your public criminal record. The only way to remove a misdemeanor conviction from your record is by going through the expungement process.
The Expungement Process in Ohio Explained
Removing a misdemeanor conviction from your record begins by filing a petition for expungement. In your petition, you explain why you deserve to have your conviction erased from your public record. This could include efforts you have made to rehabilitate yourself and positive contributions to the community you have made.
Your application must show that you are legally qualified to request an expungement. This means that the necessary time has passed since your misdemeanor conviction and that your crime is eligible to be expunged under the law.
The prosecutor has the ability to object to your petition for expungement. They may object if they believe you are not legally entitled to expungement or if they believe your behavior has not significantly changed since you were convicted.
After a hearing, the judge will decide whether to grant your expungement. The court is allowed to consider various factors in making its decision, such as your age, rehabilitation efforts, and the circumstances of your offense. Just because you legally qualify for expungement does not mean the court will grant your request.
How Long to Wait Before Seeking an Expungement in Ohio
If you are seeking to expunge a misdemeanor conviction in Ohio, one of the requirements is to wait the requisite amount of time after you have been discharged.
Specifically, you must wait at least one year from the date you completed all of the terms of your sentence before seeking an expungement. You are not eligible to seek an expungement before this.
This is not the same as waiting one year from your conviction or sentencing date. If you are sentenced to probation, you must wait one year from the date you completed your probation term. If you were sentenced to jail, you must wait one year from the date you served your jail sentence and were released.
Additionally, all of your fines and fees assessed must have been paid before you can apply for expungement.
There Are No Shortcuts to an Expungement in Ohio
The law does not require you to retain legal help to file or pursue an expungement. While a lawyer may help you complete a petition or highlight relevant facts to increase your likelihood of a successful application, there are no shortcuts or ways to avoid waiting at least one year from the completion date of your sentence.
The good news is that if your petition is not successful, you can always reapply at a later date. The longer it has been since your conviction and the longer you have demonstrated good character, the stronger the likelihood your petition for expungement will be granted.
Contact the Cincinnati Criminal Defense Attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC For Help Today
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Cincinnati
600 Vine Street, Suite 1004
Cincinnati, OH 45202