STEP 1: Are you an eligible offender?
Effective October 29, 2018, and pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 2953.31, Ohio now allows the expungement of up to 5 felony (or misdemeanor) convictions, as long as they are 4th or 5th degree felonies and not offenses of violence or felony sex offenses. It does not matter how old they are or where they occurred. Higher level felonies, including 1st 2nd or 3rd degree felonies are still not eligible for expungement.
If you have two or more convictions arise from the same incident, the multiple convictions can be treated like one conviction.
90-day rule: The Court may also choose to treat multiple convictions that do not arise from the same incident, but that result from the same court proceeding for related criminal acts committed within three months of each other, as one conviction. In other words, two or three convictions within 90 days of each other can be counted as one conviction. However, the court can also decide not to treat the multiple convictions as one for purposes of expungement.
Unfortunately, if you exceed the eligible offender limits on the number of convictions, you cannot have any of your criminal conviction records expunged.
STEP 2: Ineligible offenses?
Ineligible offenses include:
- Any 1st 2nd or 3rd degree felony;
- Any offense with a mandatory prison term;
- Any offense of violence;
- Any felony sex offense;
- Certain automobile-related offenses, including, but not limited to:
- OVI / DUI – R.C. 4511.19
- Driving under OVI suspension – R.C. 4510.14
- Street Racing – R.C. 4511.251
- All hit-and-runs
- Traffic offenses (but they are also not counted as a criminal conviction, therefore they do not prevent you from getting other offenses expunged).
STEP 3: Do I have any other pending criminal / traffic cases?
You will not be eligible to expunge a criminal record if you have any pending criminal / traffic charges against you at the time you file your expungement. So, wait until those charges are resolved or closed until attempting to expunge a criminal record.
STEP 4: When can I apply?
You must wait a certain amount of time after the final discharge of your sentence before you can apply for your record to be expunged.
Misdemeanors — 1 year after the final discharge of your conviction.
Felonies — the waiting period becomes longer based on the number of convictions:
- 1 felony conviction = 3 years after the final discharge of your conviction.
- 2 felony convictions = 4 years after the final discharge of your most recent conviction.
- 3, 4, or 5 felony convictions = 5 years after the final discharge of your most recent conviction.
Final discharge means the date you finish:
- serving any jail or prison sentence;
- serving any term of probation or parole; and / or
- paying any and all fines (including restitution).
Court costs should not be used as a reason to stop you from expunging your criminal record.
WANT TO DISCUSS YOUR CASE?
If you are unsure whether you qualify for an expungement please contact Dimitri Makridis at (614) 349-4490.