Michael C. Hennenberg

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Can you have multiple felonies sealed?

You have a criminal record, and it is impacting your ability to work. Even though you have served your time, you still can't get a job. Maybe you lost the license you need to work. Everything has grown more complicated and you're looking for a way to get things back on track.

At the same time, you know that you can, in some cases, have your records sealed. This means that most background checks will not show your criminal record, allowing you to have a fresh start and begin working again. Maybe you even know someone who has done this and they told you to look into it.

Here's the problem: They just had one arrest. You have multiple felonies. Can you still get your records sealed in Ohio?

The most recent law

You can. In November of 2018, the most recent law "quietly" went into action, giving expungement opportunities to those who even have five felonies. As always, expungement is not a guarantee. But you do have the option in Ohio, thanks to this law, even if you have a fairly extensive record.

What type of felonies?

The big question is what type of felonies you have on your record; that's more important than the sheer number. You cannot get your records sealed, under this law, if you have:

  • First-degree felonies
  • Second-degree felonies
  • Third-degree felonies
  • Lower felonies related to violence
  • Lower felonies related to sex crimes
  • Misdemeanors related to violence
  • Misdemeanors related to sex crimes

The goal of the law is to address the challenges faced by those who get involved in the opioid epidemic. In many cases, these individuals suffer from addiction. They may have broken the law, but they really need treatment. They need support. They need medical help.

After they get all of that, they need a fresh start. The state does not want to make it impossible for these people, who have fought their addictions and won, to find that they can't work. This law gives them a chance to seal their records, get a job, and really move forward with their lives. As such, the law focuses on felony drug charges, theft charges and the like.

The challenge of addiction

Have you gotten arrested due to a past addiction? It's a huge challenge. While in the grips of the addiction, you do things you never would do sober.

After getting sober and moving past this period in your life, you don't want it to haunt you forever. Neither do the authorities. They want you to have a fresh start, even with multiple charges. Make sure you know what options you have and what steps you need to take.

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Michael C. Hennenberg
5910 Landerbrook Drive, Suite 200
Mayfield Heights
Cleveland, OH 44124

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