However, if the crime were relatively minor or committed when the defendant was young and he or she has had no further criminal activity, it may make sense for the law to allow that kind of person’s criminal past to be erased, so to speak.
As we talked about in a recent post, to give some people who fall into this category a second chance, states each have their own expungement laws that allow sealing or destruction of such records in certain circumstances, allowing defendants to say in some situations that they had no such records and shielding the records from some kinds of people who run background checks such as certain kinds of employers or landlords.
Ohio laws mostly refer to this process as the sealing of a criminal record. Examples of the kinds of records that may be sealed are police and court records and those from the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation, known as the BCI.
Having criminal records sealed in Ohio does not mean that they are completely inaccessible. For example, certain classes of record requestors will still get access like employers in sensitive fields like banking, law enforcement or human services involving children, the elderly or disabled; many professional licensing authorities; judges imposing sentencing for future criminal convictions; certain government authorities like prosecutors or police; and more.
The Ohio record-sealing process is complex and depends on the kind of record and conviction involved. It is important to talk to an Ohio lawyer with expungement experience if you want to find out if you are eligible to have your records sealed and for help doing so. The laws are extremely complicated and difficult for nonlawyers to understand and you do not want to accidently forfeit any of your expungement rights.