Changes in Ohio Expungement Law

Senate Bill 337 – Effective September 28, 2012

As of September 28, 2012, it is easier than ever for convicted individuals to obtain post-conviction relief in the form of expungement. Senate Bill 337 was signed into law to accomplish many things. Some of its main provisions include:

  • Certificates For Qualification Of Employment
  • Lowering the Penalty for Drug Paraphernalia Offenses
  • Amendments to Juvenile Criminal Proceedings
  • Sealing of Criminal Records

The sealing of criminal records is a process commonly referred to as expungement. Eligible offenders can benefit substantially from this process. Expungement effectively seals your criminal conviction so that it is not available to the public.

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Eligible Offenders

Eligible offenders are those people who have not been convicted of:

  • More than one felony offense,
  • More than two misdemeanor offenses,
  • More than one felony and one misdemeanor offense, or
  • Any one of the disqualifying offenses.

Prior to the passing of Senate Bill 337 in 2012, only first-time offenders could have their records sealed.

Can all eligible offenders receive expungement?

While all eligible offenders can petition for record sealing, whether expungement is granted is up to the judge. Once you petition for expungement, a court date will be set. At this expungement hearing, the judge will evaluate:

  • Whether you actually are an eligible offender
  • Whether there are any pending cases against you
  • Whether you have successfully completed your probation for the offense you wish to expunge
  • Whether you have been rehabilitated to the judge's satisfaction

If you meet all the necessary criteria, the judge can then grant you expungement and your record of conviction will be sealed.

Again, sealing means, "any record of your previous offense will no longer be public and cannot be seen by potential employers or others." (Ohio Law Helps Offenders Turn Lives Around, Ohio State Bar)

Contact an Ohio Expungement Lawyer

If you are interested in learning more about expungement and would like to receive an evaluation of our case, contact an Ohio expungement attorney at The Koffel Law Firm. We're committed to helping qualifying individuals seal their criminal records so that they can enjoy the benefits of expungement.