1. How long do I have to wait before I can file a motion to have my record sealed?
It depends on the type of criminal record you are trying to seal. If you have a felony conviction, you must wait 3 years from the final release from prison, parole, or probation. If it is a misdemeanor conviction, you must wait 1 year from the final release. If your case was ignored by a Grand Jury, you must wait 2 years from the date of the Grand Jury report. If your case was dismissed, you can apply immediately upon the filing of the dismissal entry in the court.
2. Can I have more than one case sealed?
Under Ohio law, you can only have one conviction sealed. If you have more than one conviction, the court will not seal your record. You may have multiple dismissed cases or cases where the Grand Jury did not issue an indictment sealed.
3. After I file my application to have my record sealed, what happens next?
The court will refer your application to the court's office of Criminal Justice Services (formerly known as the Adult Probation Dept.) That office will conduct a background investigation to determine if you are eligible to have your record sealed. They will file a report with the court indicting their findings. The court will then conduct a hearing at which time the Prosecuting Attorney can offer evidence and testimony in opposition to your application, if he so wishes.
4. How long will it take for the court to make a final determination on my application?
This depends on how long it takes the Court to complete the investigation into the case. It also depends on whether there is opposition to your application by the Prosecuting Attorney. There is no set time frame for this decision but you should assume a waiting period of about 2 months.
5. Once my record is sealed, can anyone get the information?
Under Ohio law, there are some circumstances under which your conviction record can be divulged and the facts and circumstances surrounding that conviction can be discovered. (Read Section 2953.32 (D) of the Ohio Revised Code). Generally, the incident, whether it is a conviction, a dismissal, or a no true bill by a grand jury, is deemed never to have occurred once it is sealed by a court.
Federal law enforcement agencies do not recognize Ohio orders (or orders from other states) sealing a criminal case. Someone with access to federal database information may be able to see your sealed record if the record was submitted to the FBI.
6. Are there convictions that cannot be sealed?
Yes, certain traffic convictions such as DUI cannot be sealed. There are other exceptions as well. Refer to the applicable Ohio statutes for additional information or consult with an attorney.
7. Where do I file my motion to have my record sealed?
You may file your motion at the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts Office, Criminal Division, 41 N. Perry St., Room 104, Dayton, Ohio 45422 (937-225-4536). We accept personal checks drawn on a local bank with appropriate identification. Money orders payable to the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts are also accepted as is cash.
8. How can I review my criminal record?
You can review the Clerk of Courts file on your case by going to the Records Section of the Clerk of Courts located at the Montgomery County Courts Building, 41 N. Perry St., Room 9, Lower Level, Dayton, Ohio 45422 or by searching online using the PRO System. Enter either your name or your case number to view the docket on your case.