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Ohio Expungement Law: Ohio Legislature May Provide More Citizens the Opportunity to Expunge Their Criminal Convictions

On November 19, 2013, the Ohio Senate passed Sub. S.B. 143, if passed by the Ohio House of Representatives and signed into law by Governor Kasich, Ohio expungement eligibility would expand to include individuals with two misdemeanor convictions for the same offense.

Under current Ohio expungement law R.C. 2953.31 entitled "Sealing of record of conviction definitions", "Eligible Offender" is defined as,

"(A) anyone who has been convicted of an offense in Ohio or any other jurisdiction and who has not more than one felony conviction, not more than two misdemeanor convictions if the convictions are not of the same offense, or not more than one felony conviction and one misdemeanor conviction in Ohio or any other jurisdiction. When two or more convictions result from or are connection with the same act or result from offense committed at the same time, they are counted as one conviction. When two or three convictions result from the same indictment, information, or complaint, from the same plea of guilty, or from the same official proceeding, and result from related criminal acts that were committed within a three-month period but do not result from the same act or from offenses committed at the same time, they are counted as one conviction, provided that a court may decide in specified circumstances that it is not in the public interest for the two or three convictions to be counted as one conviction."

The proposed "Eligible Offender" definition under Sub. S.B. 143 provides in pertinent part,

"(A) anyone who has been convicted of an offense in Ohio or any other jurisdiction and who has not more than one felony conviction, not more than two misdemeanor convictions, or not more than one felony conviction and one misdemeanor conviction in Ohio or any other jurisdiction..."

Sub. S.B. 143 also proposes to further expand expungement eligibility to Ohio citizens who were charged with two (2) or more offenses as a result of or in connection with the same act.

The proposed legislation would permit individuals to apply for expungement of convictions that result from or are in connection with that same that that resulted in other convictions that are excluded from expungemnt. R.C. 2953.61 would be revised to include the following subsection (B),

"When a person is charged with two or more offenses as a result of or in connection with the same act, a record pertaining to any charge that is otherwise eligible for sealing may be sealed...notwithstanding the fact that one or more other charges are for offenses the records of which may not be sealed under 2953.36 of the Revised Code."

If you or someone who cares about you has any questions regarding eligibility to clean up a person's involvement with the Criminal Justice System, please contact Attorney Michael C. Hennenberg to schedule a consultation.

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