Ohio Expungement 2021

STEP 1: Do you qualify as an eligible offender for expungement?

Effective April, 2021, Ohio Revised Code 2953.31 defines an eligible offender for expungement purposes as anyone who has:

  1. Track 1: unlimited 4th or 5th degree felonies and misdemeanors, so long as they are not offenses of violence or felony sex offenses;
    • Note: NO offenses of violence, even those that are exceptions for purposes of sealing, such as M1 Assault or M4 Domestic Violence;
    • If you have an offense of violence conviction, even if it's not the conviction sought to be sealed, you automatically go to Track 2;
  2. Track 2: not more than 1 felony and 4 misdemeanors OR 2 felonies and 2 misdemeanors;
    • Same course of conduct = 1 conviction;
    • Same indictment/plea/etc, related, and within 90 days = 1 conviction;
    • 2 or 3 convictions within 90 days of each other can be counted as 1 conviction;
    • 2 or more convictions arise from same incident = 1 conviction;
    • Minor Misdemeanors still do not count as convictions;

Unfortunately, when you exceed the eligible offender limits on the number of convictions, you cannot have any of your convictions expunged.

STEP 2: What is a conviction?

  • Minor Misdemeanors are not convictions;
  • Convictions under Ohio Revised Code sections 4507, 4510, 4511, 4513 and 4549 are not convictions, except for:
    • 4511.19 (OVI / DUI)
    • 4511.251 (Street Racing)
    • 4549.02/21/03 (Hit Skip)
    • 4549.042 (Odometer Tampering)
    • 4549.62 (Hiding vehicle ID)
    • 4549.41-46 (Odometer Rollback)
    • 4510.11 (DUS)
    • 4510.14 (DUS for OVI)
    • Felony Violations under Title 45

Step 3: Ineligible offenses?

Offenses that are not eligible for expungement include:

  • 1st or 2nd degree felonies;
  • Convictions subject to a mandatory prison term;
  • Offenses of violence as defined by R.C. 2901.01
    • Notable exceptions:
      • M1 Assault
      • M4 Domestic Violence
      • M1 Riot
      • M1 Inducing Panic
      • M1 Inciting Violence
      • Telephone harassment
    • NOTE: conviction to an attempted offense of violence is still an offense of violence conviction
  • Sex offenses, such as:
    • Rape
    • Sexual Battery
    • Unlawful Sexual Conduct w/ a Minor
    • Gross Sexual Imposition / Sexual Imposition
    • Pandering
    • Illegal Use of Minor in Nudity Oriented Material
  • Traffic offenses, including offenses under Ohio Revised Code sections 4507, 4510, 4511, and 4549;
  • Importuning if conviction is after October 10, 2007;
  • Voyeurism, Public Indecency, Compelling / Promoting Prostitution, Disseminating / Displaying Matter Harmful to Juveniles, Pandering Obscenity (if conviction is after Oct. 10, 2007), and Victim is under the age of 18;
  • Convictions of any first degree misdemeanor or felony when the victim is under 16;
    • Notable exception: non-support;
  • Traffic Bond Forfeitures.

STEP 4: Do I have any other pending criminal / traffic cases?

You will not be eligible for expungement of 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 until you file your application for expungement.

STEP 5: When can I apply for expungement?

  • 3rd degree Felonies = 3 years from the date the case is closed;
  • 4th or 5th degree felonies, and 1st degree Misdemeanors  = 1 year from the date the case is closed;
  • "No Bill" returned = 2 year waiting period.
  • Not Guilty or Dismissal = no waiting period;
    • State v. Dye, Slip Opinion No. 2017-Ohio-7823, (Sept. 27, 2017) - Pursuant to R.C. 2953.52(B)(4), a trial court may seal the records in a case dismissed without prejudice before the statute of limitations has expired.

"The date the case is closed" is 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).

Remember, court costs should not be used as a reason to stop you from expungement of a criminal record.

STEP 6: What is the process for expungement?

  • File an application for expungement in the court you were convicted, along with $50 filing fee;
  • Case will be set for a hearing;
  • The State may file an objection to your application for expungement;

STEP 7: At the hearing you must prove that:

  1. You are an eligible offender;
  2. No criminal proceedings are pending against you;
  3. That you have been rehabilitated; and
  4. Your interests in having the record(s) sealed outweigh any legitimate governmental need to maintain the record.


Unsure whether you qualify for expungement? Call Dimitri Makridis at (330) 394-1587.

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