Attorneys for Expungement of Multiple Charges in OhioWhen you get your records expunged, it makes the underlying charges or conviction disappear as if they never happened. After your records are expunged, if you are ever asked on any sort of questionaire whether you were charged or convicted of any crimes then you can legally answer no with respect to the charges or convictions that were expunged. Expunged charges and convictions will not show up on any background checks. The purpose of expungement in Ohio is to give people a fresh start. Everybody makes mistakes and a criminal record should not be the thing that holds you back from advancing your life. The law firm of Harris & Engler is located in Columbus, Ohio, and the attorneys at Harris & Engler help clients across Central Ohio seal their records of criminal convictions (including in Franklin, Delaware, Union, and Fairfield counties).
Can I get my dismissed criminal records expunged?In Ohio, you can get all of your dismissed charges expunged (technically called getting your criminal record "sealed") unless you were charged with multiple offenses, some of which you were convicted of. This means that if you have a criminal record where you were charged with one crime, and that crime was dismissed then you can get it sealed. Even if you were charged with one crime and that charge got dismissed, and then 6 months later you were charged with another crime and that charge likewise got dismissed, you can petition the court to have both dismissed charged sealed. You can do this an unlimited number of times so long as each time you are charged with a crime where everything you are charged with gets dismissed. You can read more about expunging your dismissed criminal records here.
It gets more complicated if you were charged with multiple crimes at one time, and some of the charges were dismissed and you were convicted of some of the charges. It may be helpful for you to call to discuss your situation with an expungement attorney who can look up your records or talk to you over the phone to see if you are eligible for expungement.
Sealing / Expunging your records when there were multiple chargesOhio Revised Code section 2953.61 dictates how to seal your records when you were charged with multiple offenses, not all of which were dismissed. Ohio Revised Code section 2953.61(A) provides, in part:
"A person charged with two or more offenses as a result of or in connection with the same act may not apply to the court pursuant to Section 2953.32 [Sealing Records of Convictions] or 2953.52 [Sealing Records after Not Guilty Finding or Dismissal] of the Revised Code for the sealing of the person's record in relation to any of the charges when at least one of the charges has a final disposition that is different from the final disposition of the other charges until such time as the person would be able to apply to the court and have all of the records pertaining to those charges sealed pursuant to Section 2953.32 or 2953.52 of the Revised Code."
If you've had multiple criminal cases that were brought within a time span of 3 months and you otherwise don't qualify for expungement in Ohio, then you may be able to request that the Court treat some of your convictions as if they were only 1 conviction for the purposes of qualifying under the statute. This request would be best done and most likely to succeed with an attorney.
There are timelines of varying length that you have to wait before you can petition a court to seal your records. The length of time you must wait depends on the type of crime you were charged with, whether a misdemeanor (1 year) or a felony (generally 3 years).
If you've got a mixed bag of dismissed charges and convictions, some of which were originally part of the same court case, then you've got to wait until the waiting period for the conviction has expired. For example, if you were charged with 5 crimes and you had 4 of the charges dismissed and were convicted of 1 of the charges then you cannot apply to have your records sealed for the 4 dismissed charges and 1 conviction unless and until you are eligible to have the 1 conviction sealed. If you were charged at one time with 4 crimes and you had all 4 charges dismissed, then you can file an application to seal the records immediately after they are dismissed pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 2953.52.