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Established Firm Handles the Sealing and Expungement of Criminal Records in Ohio

Experienced Lebanon attorney helps clients put problems behind them

For decades, youthful mistakes and criminal allegations that went nowhere have had an outsized effect on the lives of Ohio residents. Even in cases involving juvenile behavior and matters where no conviction was obtained, criminal records have prevented people from obtaining jobs and housing. Recent changes to the state’s law on expungement give a new group of individuals the chance to seal off information that might be adversely affecting them. Located in Lebanon, Ernst & Associates assists clients in Butler, Warren, Hamilton, Montgomery and Clinton counties when they want to put a long-ago accusation behind them for good.

Knowledgeable attorney explains the requirements for record sealing

Even under the revised statute, not every conviction can be sealed. If you’re considering pursuing this type of relief, firm founder Dave Ernst can outline the key legal standards governing the sealing and expungement of criminal records, such as:

  • Convictions for certain crimes — First- and second-degree felonies cannot be expunged. This is also true for other counts that are described as violent crimes in the Ohio Revised Code. Likewise, sexual crimes and certain driving offenses cannot be sealed. To get an expungement, you must have completed any sentence and paid any fine or restitution ordered by the court.
  • Acquittals and dismissals — When someone is found not guilty or the case against them is dismissed, unproven accusations should not linger. Accordingly, there is no waiting period if someone seeks to seal a record associated with a charge that did not result in conviction. We take prompt action on behalf of clients to eliminate any prejudicial information.
  • Waiting periods — One year after the completion of a misdemeanor sentence, you can seek an expungement of that conviction. A fourth- or fifth-degree felony that doesn’t involve violence or sexual misconduct is eligible for expunging three years after the individual has served their punishment. The waiting period is extended for multiple offenders.

In Ohio, the expungement process does not completely eliminate adult criminal records, but seals them from being inspected by landlords and most employers. Law enforcement still has access to this information and it might be used if you are being considered for a job involving work with children or medical treatment. However, you will be able to state honestly on job and housing applications that you do not have a criminal record. Should you be eligible, our firm can immediately prepare the paperwork that gets the sealing process started.

Dedicated lawyer advises individuals on expunging juvenile case files

Except for instances of aggravated murder, murder, and rape, juvenile court records can be sealed and removed entirely from court materials relating to adults. Certain information involving offenders under the age of 18 is sealed automatically, including documents relating to cases where a youth was found to be not delinquent and instances when complaints were dismissed or not filed at all. Likewise, records are sealed if a minor charged with underage drinking completes a diversion program or a minor determined to be unruly turns 18 years old without further incident. Five years after sealing or when the individual reaches age 23, sealed records are permanently expunged and cannot be seen by anyone. Whether you’re looking to seek an initial sealing or final expungement, our firm prepares the filing for the court clerk and the materials necessary to present a compelling argument, including information about the applicant’s community service and good behavior following the original incident.

Contact a skilled lawyer for a free consultation regarding the Ohio expungement process

Ernst & Associates represents southwest Ohio clients who are seeking the expungement or sealing of a criminal record. To make an appointment for a free consultation at our office in Lebanon, please call 513-970-6200 or contact us online.

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Office Location
  • Lebanon Office
    11 S. Broadway St.
    Suite 200
    Lebanon, Ohio 45036
    Phone: 513-932-2214
    Fax: 513-932-2285