Reentry : Expungement
How can I expunge my record in Ohio?
The word “expungement” is not used in Ohio criminal law (the laws that apply to criminal offenses committed by people 18 or over.)
The Ohio Revised Code uses the terminology "sealing a criminal record."
Can a record be sealed for a juvenile?
Juvenile court records are not criminal records. In fact, juveniles are not convicted of crimes, they are adjudicated (this is the term that describes the final outcome of a juvenile court case).
When completing job or other applications, people who have been adjudicated in juvenile court (and have no adult criminal offenses) can answer "NO" to questions like, "Have you been convicted of a crime, felony, or misdemeanor?"
In juvenile court, sealing a record and expunging a record are two different processes.
When a record is sealed in juvenile court, the records are moved to a separate file, similar to the process for sealing adult records.
You must wait two years after the final discharge of the juvenile offense to apply to the juvenile court to have your record sealed.
Final discharge is the date when you have finished all court hearings, probation, other restrictions, and have paid all court costs and fines associated with the juvenile offense.
Expunging a juvenile record means the record is permanently destroyed and never available to be viewed by anyone ever again. A juvenile record can be expunged any time after it is sealed. If a person does not apply for expungement after sealing the juvenile record, it will automatically be expunged 5 years after the record was sealed or when the person is 23 years old (whichever is first).
For more information about sealing a juvenile record, go to your local court's website or call your court to learn if it has forms and instructions.
See also the Forms & Education tab in this section for more information.The information in this site is not intended as legal advice.
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