Expunge means to completely erase or destroy something, such as a criminal record. Each state has its own set of rules regarding expungement. In Ohio, there are two types of expungement: the first expunges a misdemeanor or felony conviction, and the second expunges the record of an acquittal. You have been acquitted if you have been tried and found not guilty or innocent.
Although most people are pleased with a “not guilty” verdict, the fact remains that the criminal charge is still on the record, somewhere, even if you are acquitted. Future employers may notice the “acquittal” and wonder why you were charged despite being found not guilty. As a result, those acquitted of a charge or charges may request that their record be expunged.
You have the right to petition the court where you were acquitted to seal the records pertaining to the proceedings; however, this does not guarantee that it will happen. The Ohio Supreme Court rules that the defendant’s privacy interest may be outweighed by the public interest in preserving the records of the specific criminal proceeding, which can be made available for justifiable purposes. Nonetheless, the individual’s request must be considered.
Plea Bargaining in Ohio
If you decide to take a plea bargain, keep in mind that the outcome may not be an expungable offense. You’ll have it on your record for the rest of your life.
Eligibility for Expungement
In order to seal or expunge a conviction record in Ohio, it must meet all requirements for expungement, which is considered an act of grave created by the state and not a right or privilege, according to the Ohio Tenth District Court of Appeals. The sealing of a record is governed by statutory provisions. To qualify for expungement in Ohio, the applicant must be eligible, which means he must be a first-time offender and the offense must be expungable. The application for expungement cannot be filed until the time period specified by the revise code has passed.
Conviction of a violent offense is an example of a case that is not eligible for expungement. Another type of conviction that cannot be expunged is one in which the offender must serve a mandatory prison term. To be eligible for statutory expungement in Ohio, all of the sentence must be served. You must complete your sentence and follow the terms of your probation. If you owe restitution, your record will not be expunged until you pay it.
If a defendant is found not guilty by reason of insanity in Ohio, you can request that your case be expunged if you are later cured of your mental health problems.
When considering an expungement application, the court must determine whether the applicant is a first-time offender. To be eligible for expungement, you must only have one conviction. The court must also determine whether there are any other criminal proceedings pending against him; whether the applicant has been sufficiently rehabilitated to satisfy the court; review any objections filed by the prosecutor; and weigh the benefits to the applicant of having his record sealed against the government’s need to keep these records.
When an individual petitions the court for an expungement hearing in Ohio, a mandatory hearing is required. The request for expungement cannot be denied without a hearing. You have the right to appeal if you are denied an expungement without a hearing.