Expungement - What is it?
Expungement is a legal process in which you can clean up your criminal record. If you are successful, it is like the conviction never happened.
Generally, to be eligible for expungement, you:
- Must be a first offender;
- A certain amount of time must pass between conviction and requesting the expungement of that conviction (for misdemeanors, that time period is one year);
- Have no pending criminal charges at the time of the request; and
- Have been "rehabilitated."
IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE for expungement, the general process is as follows:
To read the statutes governing Expungement, refer to Ohio Revised Code §2953.34.
- You must file an Application for Expungement in the court in which you were convicted—the filing fee is usually around $50.00;
- File a notarized affidavit along with the application;
- Make several copies of the Application and Affidavit and submit the original and the copies to the appropriate Clerk of Courts;
- Serve (give) a copy of the motion to the Prosecutor's office that handled the original criminal case;
- The Court will check computer records to verify if you are a first offender;
- The Court may schedule a hearing (particularly, if the prosecutor objects to your expungement—a rare occurrence in Montgomery County and Greene County Municipal Courts);
- If everything checks out OK, the Court will issue a Court Order (called "Journal Entry of Expungement");
- It will be up to you to get this Court Order to the various law enforcement agencies that might have records of your conviction;
- At this point, upon a successful expungement of the criminal conviction, you can answer "no" to questions about criminal convictions posed by employers or schools.