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The Effect of “Offenses of Violence” on Ohio Record Sealing and Expungement

Offense of Violence and New Expungement and Sealing Law – (S.B. 66 effective 10/29/2018)

Under the new Ohio Sealing of Record Law defined by Senate Bill 66, the Revised Code 2953.31 contains two separate definitions of who is considered an “eligible offender” for expungement / sealing of a criminal record. (The terms “Sealing of Records” and “Expungement” refer to the same legal process in Ohio.)

First, 2953.31(1)(a) provides that a person can have up to five (5) felony criminal convictions and an unlimited number of misdemeanor convictions sealed upon certain conditions.  If a person has any history of a conviction for an “offense of violence”, they are precluded from expungement under this section.  However, under a different section of the statute – 2953.31(1)(b), the same person may still be an “eligible offender” to seal up to 2 offenses under.  An offense of violence, with the exceptions noted below, is not eligible for expungement under either section.  But even if a person has one offense of violence that is precluded from expungement under this section, and they have a different conviction from a different case that is an eligible offense, they may still expunge the other eligible offense under 2953.31(1)(b).

Exceptions to “Offenses of Violence” That Can be Sealed

It is important to know which Offenses of Violence impact on a person’s ability to have an expungement and sealing of a criminal record. Ohio Expungement Statute under 2953.36 states offenses of violence that are misdemeanors of the first degree or felonies are not eligible for expungement.  There are exceptions to this rule that do not count as an offense of violence under Ohio’s Expungement Statute, such as misdemeanor offenses of Assault, Inciting Violence, Riot and Inducing Panic, which are eligible. This is also true of offenses of violence when the degree of the charge was reduced in a plea bargain in such a way to make them eligible for sealing of the record.   In addition, a Misdemeanor 4th degree Domestic Violence conviction is eligible expungement and it will not affect the ability to obtain an expungement of another offense.  It should also be noted that although some portions of the Burglary statute are considered an offense of violence, a Felony 4th degree Felony Burglary is not an offense of violence.  Complicity or attempt to commit an offense of violence may serve to reduce the degree of an offense of violence and thereby make it eligible.

Below is a complete list of “Offenses of Violence” that are precluded from expungement and sealing.  Those particular offenses that are exceptions to Offenses of Violence that are eligible for sealing and have no negative influence on a person’s ability to obtain an expungement of another otherwise eligible offense are also listed below.

Offenses of Violence, as defined by Revised Code § 2901.01(A)(9):

2903.01 Aggravated murder
2903.02 Murder
2903.03 Voluntary manslaughter
2903.04 Involuntary manslaughter
2903.11 Felonious assault
2903.12 Aggravated assault
2903.13 Assault *
2903.15 Permitting child abuse
2903.21 Aggravated menacing
2903.211 Menacing by stalking
2903.22 Menacing
2905.01 Kidnapping
2905.02 Abduction
2905.11 Extortion
2907.02 Rape
2907.03 Sexual battery
2907.05 Gross sexual imposition
2907.12 (former) Felonious sexual penetration
2909.02 Aggravated arson
2909.03 Arson
2909.24 Terrorism
2905.32 Trafficking in Persons
2911.01 Aggravated robbery
2911.02 Robbery
2911.11 Aggravated burglary
2917.01 Inciting to violence *
2917.02 Aggravated riot
2917.03 Riot *
2917.31 Inducing panic *
2919.25 Domestic violence, M1 **
2921.03 Intimidation
2921.04 Intimidation of attorney, victim or witness in criminal case
2921.34 Escape
2923.161 Improperly discharging firearm at or into a habitation,in a school safety zone or with intent to cause harm or panic to persons in a school building or at a school function
2911.12 Burglary F2 or F3 (Burglary F4 is not a crime of violence) ***
A traffic offense knowingly committed that involves physical harm or risk of serious harm to persons

Conspiracy, Attempt, or Complicity in Committing, any offense listed above is an offense of violence

*Exceptions to Offenses of Violence That are Eligible for Expungement:

  • Misdemeanor Assault
  • Domestic Violence Misdemeanor 4th degree
  • Misdemeanor Menacing
  • Misdemeanor Inciting to Violence
  • Misdemeanor Riot
  • Misdemeanor Inducing Panic
  • 2911.12 (B) Burglary Felony 4th degree
  • Reduce charges or plea bargain to an eligible offense

Ohio Expungement and Record Sealing Attorney

You can’t afford to put off hiring an experienced expungement lawyer. Don’t let a criminal record ruin your life or future. As a former prosecutor and experienced defense lawyer, we know the laws related to Ohio expungement and criminal record sealing. Our law firm has been in business since 1988. Contact our law firm for a confidential and free expungement consultation to determine if you are eligible for an expungement and sealing of your record.