Navigating the Expungement Process -

Navigating the Expungement Process

Hearings and Evidence are Increasingly Important to Success in Expungement of Dismissed Charges in Ohio

Impact of Appeal of Franklin County Ohio Expungement Case

Recent Franklin County Ohio Expungement Case Stresses Need for Hearing and Evidence

In a recent 2015 case appealed from the Franklin County Municipal Court, the 10th District Court of Appeals issued a decision that increases the burden upon an applicant for expungement to present evidence at the expungement hearing. In that case, the court held that

because appellee failed to meet her burden under R.C. 2953.52 to provide information supporting her interest in sealing her records beyond asserting, without evidentiary support, that she qualifies for sealing under the statute, and based on precedent, we find the trial court abused its discretion in granting appellee’s application to seal the records of her dismissed charges.” State v. J. D., 10th Dist. No. No. 14AP-791, 2015-Ohio-1781.

Although this case involved a expungement of a dismissed charge, we have noticed many Judges in Ohio municipal courts, common pleas courts, county courts, and mayors courts now requiring more hearings and more evidence when considering sealing a record. However, different Judges have different interpretations of what they consider to be sufficient evidence necessary to sustain an application for expungement.

As a result of our years of experience in sealing criminal records, we have been able to anticipate and prepared our clients for these changes in Ohio law. We are an Ohio law firm with a proven history of success representing Expungement clients. Let us put our knowledge and experience to work for you and have your criminal record sealed. We provide confidential and free expungement consultation.

Process for Expungement or Sealing of Record of Dismissed Charge, Not Guilty, and No Bills

Section 2953.52 of the Ohio Revise Code Record Sealing Statute (also known as the Expungement Statute) provides the statutory requirements for sealing records either after; not guilty findings; dismissal of case; or no bills by grand jury. Under R.C. 2953.52(A), a person who is the defendant named in a dismissed complaint, indictment or bill of information may apply to the court for an order to seal the person’s official records in the case. Upon filing of such an application to seal the records of a dismissed case, R.C. 2953.52(B) requires the court to hold a hearing to (1) determine that the case was indeed dismissed and if the case was dismissed without prejudice, determine whether the relevant statute of limitations expired, (2) determine whether criminal proceedings are pending against the person, (3) consider the reasons against granting the application specified in the prosecutor’s objection, if applicable, and (4) ultimately weigh the interest of the applicant in having his/her records sealed against the legitimate need of the government to maintain those records. State v. Newton, 10th Dist. No. 01AP-1443, 2002-Ohio-5008, ¶ 7. If the trial court determines that the applicant’s interest in having the records sealed is not outweighed by the government’s interest in maintaining the records, then the trial court must issue an order sealing the records. Id.; R.C. 2953.52(B)(4).

Expungement Application Bears Burden of Proof

The applicant seeking an expungement / sealing bears the burden of providing the trial court with information sufficient to demonstrate that their interest in having the records of their dismissed charges sealed is at least equal to any legitimate government interest in maintaining those records. In re: Application for Sealing of Record of Brown, 10th Dist. No. 07AP-715, 2008-Ohio-4105

Experienced Expungement / Record Sealing Attorney Helps Assure Success

You can’t afford to have your expungement denied. The record of even dismissed charges can trigger red flags in background checks that can lead to loss of jobs and other opportunities. Our law firm has been in business since 1988, and we know the laws related to Ohio expungement and criminal record sealing. Contact our law firm for a confidential and free expungement consultation.