Recent Changes to Ohio Expungement and Sealing of Records Law
Ohio Expungement attorney discusses Trends in Ohio Record Sealing
Beginning in 2012 and continuing through 2016, there have been major changes in Ohio Law to expand opportunities for people to have criminal records sealed and expunged. Given recent developments, it appears Ohio will continue this trend. Ohio Senate Bill 337 in 2012 and Senate Bill 143 were important changes in this process that greatly expanded who was eligible and the type of offenses that can be expunged. But Ohio has passed lesser known changes in Ohio Expungement law that can make the difference between a person being denied under previous Ohio law compared to now being eligible under the new Ohio Expungement Statute.
In 2016, two Ohio House Bills made some smaller changes to Ohio Expungement Law. Even though these changes are not widely known among the legal community, these can be a life changing difference for those people who would now be eligible for expungement for the first time.
On September 16, 2016, Ohio House Bill 164 became effective. HB 164 adds new language to O.R.C. 2953.36. This new change allows a person who was convicted of criminal offense that was previously unable to be sealed to apply to have the conviction sealed if, after the date of that conviction, the penalty for or classification of the offense is changed so that convictions for the offense can be sealed. Ohio lawmakers change the criminal laws from time to time along with the penalty or classification of particular offenses. This new law affects the changes that have already been made to criminal offenses, and changes that will be made in the future. In the cases when penalties or classification change and the offense is eligible under current law, the offense can now be sealed, where it would not have been under the old law.
On March 23, 2016, Ohio House Bill 56 became new law. This language also affected section O.R.C. 2953.36. Under previous law, a person was not eligible to have an expungement or sealing of a conviction for “an offense in circumstances in which the victim of the offense was under 18 years of age when the offense is a misdemeanor of the first degree or a felony.” HB 56 changed this restriction on expungement by reducing the age of the victim to less than 16 years of age. As a result, a person who was not eligible (or denied) to seal / expunge a criminal conviction involving a victim who was 16 or 17, would now be eligible for expungement under the new law. (It should be noted that child support violations are treated differently, and they are eligible for expungement under Ohio law, provided a person is current on their support payments.)
There will continue to be changes to Ohio expungement law. If you were previously told you that you were not eligible to expunge and seal an old criminal record, or a court denied your expungement application, you should contact us to see if you are eligible under Ohio’s new expungement statute.
Expungement and Record Sealing Lawyers – Contact us for a Free Consultation
Our law firm has been in business and located in central Ohio since 1988. Our law firm emphasizes expungement and sealing of criminal records in Ohio. As trial attorneys and former prosecutors, we have the knowledge and experience to have your criminal record sealed. We handle cases in all 88 counties of Ohio.
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