A criminal record can have rippling effects years after the initial crime took place. Securing employment and housing may be difficult along with the stain left on your reputation for all to see. Ohio has a solution for this problem. For people who have paid their time, learned their lesson, and have been fully rehabilitated, there is a legal process called expungement.
Expungement is a legal second chance that wipes the slate clean. It is helpful for first offenders and in some instances, people with several minor arrests. The process seals your criminal record and destroys all public documentation and court appearances. Once a record is expunged, it is as if the conviction never even happened. A person can legally check “No” if asked about a criminal record when filling out a document.
An expunged criminal record lets people get on with their life. Someone can apply for expungement one year after fulfilling the court requirements for a misdemeanor and three years after for a felony. The process can be complicated at times and it can easy for someone to get lost in the system. An experienced expungement lawyer can get this done in a matter of a few months.
While this sounds wonderful, not all offenses qualify for expungement in Ohio. If you go through the pretrial phase and your case is dismissed or you are found not guilty, you are eligible for expungement. The state of Ohio also allows the following cases to be expunged:
- The offense did not require prison time
- Not a sexual or violent crime
- Not a felony or first degree misdemeanor involving a minor
- No previous felony convictions and no or only one previous misdemeanor convictions
If you have been convicted of a crime and feel that it is inhibiting your ability to gain employment, housing or another vital necessity, contact an experienced attorney at DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder today for a free in-person consultation.