You will have to explain how and why you obtained the charges that you want the court to seal and also indicate why you want the court to grant your request for sealing.
In Franklin County, Ohio, to get your criminal record removed from the public eye, you can get it sealed, which is sometimes referred to as getting it expunged. Specifically, Ohio Revised Code Chapter 2953 governs this process. Here’s a quick overview of the application.
Obtaining Your Record
If you are an eligible offender, then first obtain your court files including any orders of convictions, dismissals or not guilty findings. It is possible that you can obtain your records online by going to the website of the Clerk of Courts, which is located where your case was decided. Otherwise, you may need to visit the Clerk of Courts in person and request copies of the records. In Franklin County, you can obtain your records by phone at (614)-645-8186, in person at the Clerk’s office 375 S. High Street 2nd Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215, or online.
Sealing a Misdemeanor in Franklin County, Ohio
If you have non-violent misdemeanor convictions on your record, you can get those records sealed by filing a Sealing of Records Application with the Franklin County Municipal Court. The Application for Sealing of Records requires you to identify your general information along with your case number, charges, case result (conviction, not guilty, dismissal, or bail forfeiture) and date of result. Next, you will have to confirm that you are qualified for the sealing of your records based on Ohio law. This Application is then signed by you or your attorney before it is filed with the Franklin County Municipal Court Sealing and Expungements Section at 375 S. High Street 2nd Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215. You will have to provide a copy of this Application to the Prosecutor’s Office as well.
In addition, if you were convicted of a misdemeanor of the first, second, third or fourth degree, then you also have to complete a Sealing of Records Probation Worksheet. In this Worksheet, you will first disclose your contact information and details about your education and employment. Next, you must disclose information about the cases for sealing and any of your other convictions. Finally, you will have to explain how and why you obtained the charges that you want the court to seal and also indicate why you want the court to grant your request for sealing.
The filing fee for record sealing in Franklin County, Ohio is $50; however, there is no fee if all of the charges in the case have been dismissed, acquitted, no billed, nolled, ignored or otherwise eliminated. It is also possible to apply to have the fee waived if you cannot afford it.
Sealing a Felony Conviction in Franklin County, Ohio
If you have a non-violent, non-sex offense which is not a first or second degree felony, you can generally get those records sealed by filing an Application for Order Sealing Record of Conviction or Bail Forfeiture. In this Application, you are first identifying your general information including which records you want the Court of Common Pleas to seal, and identifying information relating to your conviction or forfeiture of bail.
You will also have to sign a Memorandum in Support of Application for Order Sealing Record. This is where you attest to being an eligible offender under Ohio law. You must also confirm that you have waited the required time before applying, which is three years from final discharge for one felony, four years for two felonies, and five years for three-to-five felonies. Finally, you confirm in this Memorandum that you meet all requirements of getting your record sealed and have paid the $50 fee or are otherwise indigent.
Once the court receives the application and fee, it will review the application to ensure that it is complete and will conduct a record check. At this time, the application is sent to the prosecutor.
Non Convictions and Arrests
Perhaps there are no convictions on your record. For example, your charges could have been dismissed or you could have been acquitted. These types of records can typically be sealed right away by filing the Application to Seal a Non-Conviction with the Franklin County Municipal Court.
Hiring an Expungement or Record Sealing Attorney
Joslyn Law Firm has extensive expertise helping Ohio clients seal their records. Among other things, we can consult with you regarding your record to help determine if it can be sealed; file an application for your record to be sealed; and represent you at your hearing to help convince the judge that you have been rehabilitated and that your record ought to be sealed.
Contact our expungement attorney at Joslyn Law Firm at (614) 444-1900 for a consultation regarding the sealing of your record in Franklin County and surrounding counties, including Pickaway County, Madison County, Delaware County, Licking County and Fairfield County in Ohio.