Can I expunge my record in Ohio: Felonies, Misdemeanors, DUIs


Law Firm in Columbus: Brandon Shroy, Attorney at Law
Ohio law was updated in 2018 leading to questions about when to seal your criminal record. Talking to a criminal defense lawyer is the best way to get a good answer but this article will give you expungement basics.

As of 2018 Ohio law allows persons convicted of almost unlimited criminal offenses to be sealed from public view.

The old law only allowed two convictions to be sealed.

The new general rule is that after your case has been closed for 1 year for misdemeanors and 3 years for felonies it is eligible to be sealed. This is true no matter how many offenses you have if they are eligible offenses. Either you or a criminal lawyer can file a motion with the Court holding the conviction to seal your record.

This motion should lay out why your interest in sealing your record outweighs the governmental interest is keeping the record. Because a
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defendant may (under the new law) have a lengthy criminal record this can be an issue that requires attention to overcome. Expect a Judge to take sworn testimony in a hearing.

What are the common issues people face in expunging their criminal records?

The exceptions to this general rule listed above trip people up and are listed below. The most basic exceptions are as follows:

OVI, DUI, and Reckless Operation continue to be ineligible to be sealed. There are no legal exceptions.

Offenses of violence that are misdemeanors of the 1st degree or a felony are not eligible to be sealed. Misdemeanor assault is, however, allowed to be sealed. That means common charges like aggravated menacing, domestic violence, and aggravated assault are not eligible to be sealed.



Sex offenses are not eligible to be sealed in general. If you are a registered sex offender the new laws do not help you.

Finally, a felony of the 1st or 2nd degree is never eligible to be sealed. These include burglaries, robberies and serious drug offenses.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brandon Shroy
Brandon Shroy, Attorney at Law, has spent his entire career as a lawyer practicing exclusively in the area of criminal justice in Columbus and throughout Ohio. He is a frequent author and speaker on criminal law topics.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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