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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
2) Fill in the blanks on the two forms: (a) "Application for Sealing of a Criminal Record Pursuant to ORC §2953.32"; and (b) "Judgment Entry for Sealing." To help you fill out
the forms correctly, follow the instructions provided for each form.
4) 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 form called "Poverty Affidavit." When completing
this form, follow the instruction provided. If you do not
complete this form, be prepared to pay the $50 fee.
5) 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.
6) 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 and don't forget
7) 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. For example, if you were using drugs
and alcohol at the time when you committed the crime and have
since gone sober, tell this to the Judge. If you have seen a
psychiatrist since your conviction, tell the Judge.
8) On the day of your hearing, show up at the Court on time and dressed
neatly and cleanly. Be respectful and courteous to the Judge and
Prosecutor. 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.
9) 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!
Here is a great handbook that contains the information provided above, as well as the forms you will need:
I hope this helps, best of luck!
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