Some people convicted of crimes in Ohio are eligible for expungement. Expungement is a process where a person’s criminal and arrest records are erased. This can help a person avoid obstacles that come with a criminal conviction.

Unfortunately, only certain people and types of offenses are eligible for expungement under Ohio law. An Ohio expungement lawyer can help you understand and navigate the expungement process.

Who Is Eligible for Expungement?

Only eligible offenders can ask for expungement. Someone may be eligible if:

  • They have no pending criminal cases
  • The conviction the person seeks to expunge did not have a mandatory prison term
  • The applicable waiting period has passed for the conviction in question

There are other requirements as well. For instance, people convicted of certain types of offenses may not be eligible for expungement. This includes (but is not limited to):

You should speak with your lawyer about expungement during your criminal case so that you understand the consequences of a conviction. You may not want to plead guilty to an offense that cannot be expunged later.

The Expungement Process in Ohio 

To start the expungement process in Ohio, a person must first apply with the court and pay a $50 filing fee. If you were convicted in Cincinnati, you would file your application with the Hamilton County Courts, for example. 

The court will set a hearing date and inform the prosecutor 60 days in advance. If there is a victim in the case, the prosecutor might notify the victim so that they can be present. The prosecutor and the victim may choose to object to the expungement. 

Before the hearing, the court will get reports on the person asking for expungement. This may include talking to probation officers or inquiring about child support payments in certain cases. The judge will use all of this information in deciding whether or not to grant the expungement.

How Does the Court Decide on Expungement? 

During the hearing, the court will consider different factors. Each factor plays a role in deciding if the record should be expunged. The factors include:

  • If the applicant has been rehabilitated 
  • If the prosecutor and/or victim objected, and the reasons for the objection
  • Weighing the interest in expungement with the government’s interest in keeping the record available
  • Oral and written victim statements
  • Age of the offender
  • Facts about the specific offense that is the basis of the conviction 
  • Ongoing criminal behavior (or lack thereof)
  • The applicant’s education and employment 
  • Any other relevant information 

If you hire an Ohio expungement lawyer, they will argue on your behalf during the hearing. This is incredibly helpful, especially if the prosecutor or victim is objecting to the expungement. An objection can make it significantly more difficult to have your record expunged. 

Benefits of Expungement

Expungement is an attractive process for people who want to move forward after a criminal conviction. It is no secret that a criminal record will make your life harder. Expunging a criminal record can help someone start fresh. 

Many people who successfully expunge their records enjoy: 

  • Better employment prospects
  • Increased housing options
  • Restoration of professional licenses 
  • Fewer obstacles to citizenship 
  • More government benefits 

These benefits make the expungement process worth it for most people. After serving their time and paying their debts, many people want to move on in their life. Expungement provides this option so that convicted Ohioans can leave the past behind. 

Contact the Cincinnati Criminal Defense Attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers For Help Today

Of course, the best way to avoid expungement is to avoid a criminal conviction in the first place. If you are charged with a crime, a good criminal defense attorney can defend you. If you win your case, it will make expunging the record of the charges significantly easier than if you are convicted.

For more information, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers give us a call today at (513) 333-0014 or visit us at our Cincinnati Law Office.

Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers – Cincinnati
600 Vine Street, Suite 1004
Cincinnati, OH 45202
United States