As long as you were not charged with a 1st degree or 2nd degree felony you may be eligible to apply. In Ohio what occurs is that the records are sealed.
Steps You Must Follow to Get Your Record Sealed
1) You need a copy of the final order of the conviction you wish to have sealed. Contact the Clerk of the Court in which you were convicted. Remember your case was "criminal," so be sure to go to the appropriate part of the Clerk's office. Request a certified copy of the Judgment Order of Conviction(s). You will need to give the Clerk your case number. If you do not have the number, ask the Clerk to use the computer to look it up. For a small fee (one or two dollars), the Clerk will give you a certified copy. Make sure it is certified (stamped with court seal).
2) Fill two forms, (a) "Application for Sealing of a Criminal Record Pursuant to ORC§2953.32″; and (b) "Judgment Entry for Sealing."
3) To apply to have your record sealed, you will have to pay $50 to the Court. If you cannot pay the fee, fill out the "Poverty Affidavit" form. If you do not complete this form, be prepared to pay the $50 fee.
4) After the forms are filled out, attach the "Judgment Order of conviction" to the "Application for Sealing of a Criminal Record". Make three copies of everything. Take the original and the three copies of the "Application for Sealing of a Criminal Record" and the "Poverty Affidavit" or the $50 fee to the Clerk of Courts in the Court where you were convicted. (Do NOT file the "Judgment Entry"-bring this completed form with you to the hearing. If you are successful at the hearing, the Judge will sign it.) Tell the Clerk that you would like to file your documents. The Clerk will take all copies, stamp them, and give one copy back to you. KEEP THIS COPY! You will need it later.
5) The Court will set your case for a hearing. You will be notified by mail of the date set for the hearing. Mark the date on your calendar.
6) Before the hearing date, prepare what you will say to the Judge. You must convince the Judge that you are no longer someone who would commit a crime (you have been rehabilitated). Explain that you are sorry for what you did and explain how you have changed since that time.
7) On the day of your hearing, the Bailiff will call your name and ask you to present your case. Tell the Judge that you want to have your criminal record sealed, explain the charges you wish to erase from your record and that the proper time has passed. Explain to the Judge that you have been rehabilitated and why it is important to have your record sealed. The Prosecutor will be given the chance to object to your request.
8 ) The Judge must make a decision weighing your interests in having the records sealed against the government's need to keep these records. The Judge may give a decision in Court or take time to think about the case and make a decision later. If no decision is made in Court, a copy of the decision will be mailed to you. Make sure the Court has your current address!
All comments are provided for informational purposes only. A local attorney should be contacted for specific legal advice.