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Ohio’s New Expungement Law

Ohio has always had a complex series of laws concerning the expungement of criminal records. For many years, the state was so cautious about criminal expungement that a person was allowed to expunge only one conviction at a time. On October 29, 2018, however, a new law became effective that allows individuals in Ohio to expunge multiple convictions, which even extends to felonies.

Eligibility for Expungement

Before October 29, 2018, individuals who were eligible for expungement includes those who had been convicted of an offense in Ohio and who had no more than one felony conviction, two misdemeanor convictions, or one felony and one misdemeanor conviction.

The number of individuals who are eligible for expungement increased substantially following October 29, 2018. Now, individuals eligible for expungement include anyone with non-violent, non-sexual felonies of the 4th or 5th degree. Also under this new law, an individual is eligible for expungement if he or she has either five or fewer 4th or 5th-degree felonies or an unlimited number of misdemeanors.

Waiting Periods for Expungement

The amount of time that a person is required to wait to receive an expungement has changed under Ohio’s new laws. These new regulations state that the waiting dates for various convictions include the following:

  • Misdemeanor convictions require a one-year waiting period
  • One felony of the 4th or 5th degree requires a three-year waiting period
  • Two felonies of the 4th or 5th degree require a four-year waiting period
  • Three to five felonies of the 4th or 5th degree require a five-year waiting period

The Benefits of Expungements

There are several reasons why people decide to have their records expunged. Some of the primary advantages offered by expungement include the following:

  • If an individual is not yet a citizen of the United States but is interested in becoming one, it can much more difficult to do so if there is a criminal conviction on his or her record. While law enforcement will still be able to access a person’s records following an expungement, these records will not be held against a person.
  • If a person is interested in purchasing a home or renting an apartment, a criminal conviction can act as a substantial barrier. Expungement releases a person from the requirement to disclose details about these convictions.
  • Job applications. Many employers require job candidates to list any convictions on their employment applications. If a person successfully expunges a conviction, the individual is no longer required to disclose this information when applying for a job.
  • Professional licenses. Many people discover that professional licenses are much more difficult or even impossible to obtain if they have a criminal record. Expungement, however, makes this process much easier.

Speak with an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you believe that you qualify for expungement of your criminal record under this law, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer at Kruger & Hodges. Our attorneys understand these new regulations and are prepared to guide you through the expungement process.

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