How to Get Your Criminal Record Sealed

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In Ohio, adult convictions generally cannot be “expunged” or completely erased from your record.  Instead of expungement, Ohio uses a court process called “sealing a criminal record.” If your record is sealed, you do not have to disclose your conviction, arrest, or any charge against you when you apply for most jobs. Under Ohio law, once the record is sealed, it is as if the offense never occurred.

Even sealed records will be available to some employers for some jobs. For example, your convictions, even if sealed, may disqualify you from a job working with children, older persons, developmentally disabled persons, or from a job that has a substantial connection with your offense. You must report sealed records when enlisting in the military. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI) keeps a record of all sealed criminal records.

More information is available in this brochure published by Legal Aid: Sealing an Ohio Criminal Record

A Spanish version of this brochure will be available soon.

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