A criminal record can be detrimental to your future. Among other problems, it can prevent you from getting a job, a promotion, or from being able to travel abroad. A criminal record may prevent you from getting into a school, getting a professional license or certification. It may hurt your credit, keep you from renting an apartment, or owning a firearm. A criminal record can be embarrassing to you and your family.
Prior to September 28, 2012, only someone who was convicted of one crime once could be eligible to seal their record in Ohio (provided the conviction was not an offense specifically excluded from the sealing law, Ohio Revised Code 2953.36).
On September 28, 2012 the law changed and someone convicted of 2 crimes may be eligible to have one or both convictions sealed.
If you, or someone you know, has been convicted of 1 or 2 offenses, the criminal records may be able to be sealed. To find out about eligibility call us at 513-777-2222.
Each case is unique, but generally the fee for representation will be as follows:
The court filing fee is normally $50.00, but some courts charge more. The fee would cover preparation and filing of the petition and if necessary, one court appearance. If there are complications, or more than one court appearance is required, the fee could be higher. If there are additional fees beyond the initial retainer, the client would be advised before the fee is charged. If the court denies the petition and an appeal is desired, there would be a new fee and court costs for the appeal.
Lyons & Lyons Co., L.P.A. accepts cash, checks, and the following debit or credit cards: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa.
Q. Am I eligible to have my criminal record sealed?
A. Contact Lyons & Lyons Co., L.P.A. at 513-777-2222 to talk to an attorney.
Q. Can I have a DUI/OVI conviction sealed?
A. Traffic offenses are not sealable. In the past, having a DUI/OVI conviction prohibited you from having any other criminal conviction sealed. This is no longer the situation. If you are otherwise an eligible offender, you may be able to have your criminal record sealed.
Q. What convictions cannot be sealed?
A. Traffic convictions and those offenses, which are specifically excluded by Ohio Revised Code, Section 2953.36.
Q. Can felony convictions be sealed?
A. Possibly. First and second degree felony convictions cannot be sealed. Felony convictions where there was a mandatory prison term cannot be sealed. Felonies where the victim was a minor; felonies that were crimes of violence and certain sex crimes cannot be sealed. Many other felony convictions are eligible for sealing.
Q. Is it expensive to petition the court to seal a criminal record?
A. Lyons & Lyons fees are very reasonable. Not having a criminal record sealed could be very costly in lost opportunities in the future.
Q. Who has access to my criminal record?
A. Criminal convictions are public information, so anyone could have access to your criminal record, unless it has been sealed.
Q. How long do you have to wait to petition the court to seal a criminal conviction?
A. For misdemeanors it is 1 year from the final disposition of the case; for felonies it is 3 years from the final disposition of the case.
Q. Should I get a Mayor’s Court conviction sealed?
A. Yes. Mayor’s Court criminal convictions do go on your record as a conviction of a crime.
Q. Should I get my Juvenile Court record sealed?
A. Yes. Even though a juvenile proceeding results in an adjudication rather than a conviction, an unsealed juvenile record could still be detrimental.
Q. What is the difference between having a criminal record sealed and having a criminal record expunged?
A. Very often these terms are used interchangeably to mean the same thing. Generally in Ohio criminal records are sealed. Only in rare situations specified in the Ohio Revised Codes, Section 2953.37 and 2953.38, are criminal records expunged (destroyed).
Q. What if I was convicted of more than 1 crime at the same time?
A. It is possible, if the crimes were committed at the same time, or within a 3 month period, that the court could treat multiple convictions as one.
Q. Does the court have to grant a petition to seal a criminal record for an eligible offender?
A. No.& To grant the petition is within the discretion of the judge, but judges cannot abuse their discretion.
Q. Are there any guarantees that the petition will be granted?
A. No. An attorney cannot ethically guarantee results.
Q. What is an eligible offender for purposes of sealing a records?
A. Eligible offender is defined by law as a person who has been convicted of an offense in this state or any other jurisdiction and who has:
Q. Should I have a minor misdemeanor conviction sealed?
A. A minor misdemeanor conviction is not a criminal conviction. A minor misdemeanor convictions such as drug abuse, disorderly conduct (intoxication, fighting, etc.) possession of drug paraphernalia (after September 28, 2012) may be detrimental to one record, so it would probably be wise to have that record sealed.