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Are There Any Exceptions When Ohio Expunged Records Can Still Be Considered?

Posted on: October 22, 2023 | by: admin

New Expungement Law in 2023

Since the establishment of the new expungement law in 2023, there has been much confusion about whether expunged records completely disappear. The legal definition of expungement in Ohio means to “destroy, delete, and erase a record as appropriate for the records physical or electronic form or characteristic so that that record is permanently irretrievable.”   Further, Ohio law requires an expunged record “to be considered as if it never occurred.”

Expunging Record Opens Up Opportunities 

There’s no question that Ohio expungement is a powerful legal remedy, for a person who qualifies for this relief, to clear a criminal record from their background. And there is no question, an expungement will open opportunities for future employment, education, housing, and many other opportunities. Please note if you have a criminal record, you should make every effort to have your criminal record Expunged, or Sealed if you don’t qualify for expungement.  You must ask how much it will cost you in lost opportunities not to expunge your record.

Exceptions for Expunged Records are Very Limited

Clients ask us if there are limitations to an expungement. While the physical criminal records are destroyed after an expungement of a criminal conviction, there are a few exceptions when the records can be disclosed and maintained by certain agencies.

These expungement exceptions include:

  • In any criminal proceeding, an admissible prior conviction may be introduced regardless that the record was previously expunged.
  • In circumstances where an individual has been permanently excluded from employment by the Board of Education or a school district, these agencies may keep the record of the conviction related to the permanent exclusion, even though the conviction was expunged.
  • In a case when an individual has been forever disqualified from holding employment in public office because of a conviction based upon an investigation by the auditor of state, the auditor of state and the prosecutor can keep the record of the conviction which was the basis for the disqualification from public office.
  • Even though a person’s conviction has been expunged, DNA records on file with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification (“BCI”) shall be kept unless the underlying conviction is later overturned.
  • The BCI can keep a record of expunged convictions for the limited purpose of determining an individual’s qualification or disqualification for employment with law enforcement, and those records shall only be disclosed to law enforcement.

For All Other Purposes (WHICH IS HUGE), Expunged Records Can Not Be Seen or Used

Do you see how limited the exceptions are for expunged records? Only a few government agencies can see an expunged record and the record must still be maintained confidentially and not disclosed to anyone else.  In other words, once a criminal record is expunged, no other person or agency will see an expunged record, except for an extremely short list. Even with these rare exceptions, when a criminal record is expunged, the record is destroyed, and removed from all public records, it is highly confidential, and it can be a criminal offense for government employees to even release any information related to the conviction.

If you are considering an Expungement of Record, you should not be discouraged by these very few exceptions to expunged records.  Rather, it should encourage you even more to have your criminal record expunged because for all other purposes, an expunged criminal record cannot be retrieved or seen after an expungement. An expungement of a criminal record will change your outlook on your life and give you a second chance for a fresh start. Your previous conviction shall truly be considered to have never occurred.

We Notify Government and Private Background Search Agencies

After winning expungement cases for our clients, we serve government agencies, and we also serve over one hundred private background check agencies to notify them to update their database and remove any record they may have of our client’s criminal record. Courts can take months to notify other government agencies. Courts DO NOT notify private background check agencies and most all other law firms DO NOT notify private background search agencies. If these notifications are not done, a person with an expunged record may find the government and private background search agencies are still showing the criminal record to the public on private internet databases searches or public databases.  We have found it especially important for our clients to serve both government and private background search agencies so they will pass background checks and can move forward with their life and career.


Our law firm has been in business and located in central Ohio since 1988 and we handle cases in all counties in Ohio.  Our law firm emphasizes expungement and sealing of criminal records. We are dedicated to helping people get a second chance. As licensed attorneys and former prosecutors, we have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the legal process and hearings to be successful in having your record expunged.

If you are a resident of Ohio or living out of state, contact our Ohio law firm for a confidential and free consultation.