What is an expungement? Can my record be expunged?

by Jon Sinclair, Lawyer Referral Service Panelist

Expungement is the sealing of a crime so it is not publicly available. The ability to have a record  expunged depends on a variety of factors, including the type of crime you were convicted of and whether or not the crime is your first and only offense, i.e., you had no prior record. (Only crimes on your adult record are considered; most Juvenile Court records are not considered.) Generally speaking, if you were sentenced to serve mandatory prison time, were convicted of domestic violence, DUI, or other crimes of violence such as rape, murder, or gun-related crimes, or were convicted of any Level 1 or Level 2 felony, your record cannot be expunged.  For certain misdemeanor convictions, you may seek to file a motion for expungement one year after the probationary period has ended or one year after conviction if there is no probation. For certain felony convictions, you may seek to file a motion for expungement three years after the probationary period has ended. Applying to have your record expunged is done through the judge that sentenced you for the crime.  Individuals in Hamilton County, Ohio, seeking more information about expungement can visit the Hamilton County Municipal Court website at http://www.hamilton-co.org/municipalcourt/expungement/expungement.htm.

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