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What is the Waiting Period for Expungement and Sealing in Ohio?

A person seeking to have a criminal record expunged and sealed must wait a specified time as set forth in the Ohio Expungement / Sealing Statue (2953.31 et. seq.) This is often referred to as the expungement waiting Period for the sealing of records. The waiting periods vary depending on whether the record is for a “Non-Conviction”, or a “Conviction.”

Expungement and Sealing of Non-Convictions

  • Dismissed, or finding of not guilty, or acquittal, there is no waiting period and a person is eligible to file for expungement immediately.
  • No-Bill, a person must wait 2 years after the date of the No Bill was entered by the grand jury.
  • Arrest Only Record expungements depend on when was the date of the arrest and whether the police have concluded not to file charges.
  • Minor Misdemeanors and Bail Forfeiture are technically not considered a criminal conviction. However, the courts and Ohio case law require a 1 year waiting period after the date of the minor misdemeanor or bail forfeiture.

Expungement and Sealing of Convictions

Before someone can begin to calculate the expungement waiting period for a conviction, they must receive a “Final Discharge” or “Termination of the Case.” A person is discharged and their case is terminated when they have served the entire sentence imposed by the court, completed any probation required, paid their restitution, and paid their fines. Once a person has completed all the sanctions or requirements ordered by the court, the waiting period starts to run. The opposite also applies; if someone violates their probation and never completes the court’s requirements for their case, the waiting period cannot be satisfied.

  • Unclassified Misdemeanors

    Unclassified Misdemeanor requires a person to wait 1 year from the date of the case or final discharge from the case.

  • Minor Misdemeanor & Misdemeanor Convictions

    An Eligible Offender may apply for an expungement and sealing of the record of their misdemeanor conviction at the expiration of 1 year from the termination of their case.

  • Felony Convictions

    The waiting period for An Eligible Offender differs based on the number of Felonies that are included in the application. The following waiting periods apply after the final discharge of the case:

    F4 & F5 Convictions 1-year waiting period
    F3 Convictions 3-year waiting period
    Conviction of 2921.43 7-year waiting period

Expungement and Sealing of Multiple Offenses in the Same Case

If there are multiple charges in one case and some of the charges were dismissed or found not guilty, but a person is convicted of other charges out of that same case, that person cannot have the dismissed, or not guilty charges sealed until all the charges in the case are eligible for sealing. There are exceptions to this rule. Expungements involving multiple charges in the same case can be complex cases, and it is highly recommended that one hire an attorney experienced in expungement and sealing of records.

Ohio Expungement and Record Sealing Attorney

Don’t let a criminal record of Conviction or a Non-Conviction ruin your life, your family, or your career future. Contact our law firm for a confidential and free expungement consultation to determine if you are eligible for an expungement and sealing of a criminal record.