Attorneys for Expungement of Dismissed Criminal Charges in Ohio

You can apply to have your records sealed for dismissed criminal charges as soon as they've been dismissed, unless in the complaint or indictment some of the charges were dismissed and others were convictions (then read this article about multiple charges under Ohio Revised Code Section 2953.61). Expungement is technically called having your records "sealed" in Ohio.  When petitioning a Court to have your dismissed criminal charges expunged, it does not matter if you've had any other criminal convictions (please note that this pertains to cases where all of the criminal charges were dismissed, otherwise see Ohio Revised Code Section 2953.61).  You can get an unlimited number of criminal charges or charges in which you were found not guilty off your record if the whole case against you was dismissed or you were found not guilty with respect to the charges.  

How to get dismissed criminal charges or non-convictions expunged in Ohio

Ohio Revised Code Section 2953.52 governs the process for sealing criminal records after not guilty findings, dismissals, or no bills by a grand jury.  If there was a finding of not guilty or the case was dismissed, you can apply to have your records sealed immediately after the dismissal or finding of not guilty.  If a grand jury reports a "no bill" (which means they will not prosecute) then you must wait two years after the expiration of the reported no bill before you can apply to seal your records.

Once the time limit has passed (if any), then you can simply petition to Court to seal your records.  

What factors does the Court look at in determining whether to seal your records?

According to Ohio Revised Code Section 2953.52(B)(2), the Court looks at the following factors in determining whether or not to expunge your records:

(1) Whether or not the applicant was found not guilty, whether the case was dismissed, or whether the grand jury returned a "no bill."
(2) If the case was dismissed, the court will determine whether the case was dismissed with prejudice or without prejudice (with prejudice means it could not be refiled, without prejudice means it could be refiled).  If the case was dismissed without prejudice the court must determine whether the statute of limitations has expired in order to see if the charges could be refiled.
(3) Whether or not any criminal charges are pending against the applicant.
(4) If the prosecutor filed objections to the granting of the applicant to seal criminal records, then the Court must consider the prosecutor's objections
(5) The Court must weigh the interests of the person in having the official records pertaining to the case sealed against the legitimate needs, if any, of the government to maintain those records. 

If the applicant passes the above factors to the Court's satisfaction, then the Court will grant the application to seal criminal records.  

Columbus Expungement and Criminal Records Sealing Attorney

Attorney Evan T. Engler works with Clients across Central Ohio in getting their dismissed criminal charges sealed, as well as all other eligible criminal records sealed.  Attorney Evan T. Engler helps clients seal their records in Columbus, Ohio from charges stemming from either the Franklin County Municipal Court or Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, as well as helping clients seal their records in Delaware County, Union County, and Fairfield County.  If you would like to have your criminal records sealed, or are interested in whether or not you are even eligible to have your records sealed, you can contact an attorney at Harris & Engler to guide you through the process by calling (614) 610-9988.  
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