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Ohio Juvenile Expungement FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

This page was designed to help our clients better understand our Ohio Juvenile Expungement service. You will find answers to the questions we are most frequently asked. If your question is related to eligibility requirements please take the free online eligibility test.

What is the difference between sealing and expungement?

Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code section, in regards to juvenile cases, expungement means to destroy, delete, or erase a record and sealing a records means to remove the record from the file and secure it in a separate unviewable file.

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Do I have to seal my case in order to be eligible for an expungement?

You are eligible to expunge your juvenile case five years after the court issues the sealing order or on the 23 birthday of the person that had the case sealed, whichever is earlier. However, if you were adjudicated delinquent for a violation of Ohio Revised Code section 2907.24 (soliciting – after positive HIV test), 2907.241 (loitering to engage in solicitation – solicitation after positive HIV test), or 2907.25 (prostitution after HIV test) and the violation was a result of you being a victim of human trafficking then you can expunge the case without sealing the case first.

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Will my case still show up on my background check?

No. The information is deleted and not available to the public. Ohio Revised Code section 2151.358(F) states that you can reply that no record exists when asked.

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What if I join the military?

If you want to join the US military, then your record becomes a matter of federal law, not Ohio state law. All branches of the military will want to know about your juvenile offenses, even if they have been sealed and expunged. There is still a risk of being discharged from the military if you don’t tell them and they later find out.

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Do I need to hire an attorney or can I proceed with the expungement on my own?

You have an attorney to (1) make sure the process is done right the first time so your case does not get rejected or cost you months of delay (2) handle objections from the district attorney (3) send an attorney to court to argue the case if need be and (4) write letters to potential employers letting them know that the case has been reopened and will soon have the juvenile adjudication off of your record.

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Do I have to go to court?

No, we go for you. If the court requests your presence and you are unable to attend, then we will request for your presence to be excused.

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How long does the process take?

Typically, the case takes about five to six months.

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Can the process be done faster?

The courts work on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, the sooner you sign up, the sooner your case is heard and decided. If helpful, we will gladly write your employer or potential employer a letter letting them know we have reopened the case and are in the process of having your record sealed.

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Do you have a money back guarantee?

We are unable to offer a money back guarantee because the process involves a substantial amount of preparation and sometimes several appearances in court by our attorneys. We cannot afford to offer this low of a price and a money back guarantee.

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Do you have payment plans?

We can create a payment plan that meets your needs. Please view the pricing for details regarding the payment plans.

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What if I don’t know exactly what is on my record?

We will be glad to work with you to get a copy of your record and to review what can be done. We charge a researching fee and we apply that to the cost of any service that you hire us to perform.

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Does my disposition of guilty or no contest matter?

No, your disposition does not matter. They are both deemed to be convictions or adjudication of delinquency.

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What if I have a pending civil case based off the record I want expunged?

The case is not eligible to be expunged if there is a pending civil case regarding the criminal case. However, after the civil case is resolved and not subject to appeal the records shall be expunged.

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Does the judge have to grant my case?

The case is left up to the judge’s discretion. The court may cause an investigation to be made to determine if the person who is the subject of the proceeding has been rehabilitated to a satisfactory degree.

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What does the judge deem to be a satisfactory degree of rehabilitation?

The judge will take into account (1) the age of the person, (2) the nature of the case, (3) the cessation or continuation of delinquent, unruly, or criminal behavior, (4) the education and employment history of the person, (5) any other circumstances that may relate to the rehabilitation of the person who is the subject of the records under consideration.

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What is the main reason that a request to seal is denied?

Cases are denied for the following reasons: (1) an inaccuracy in the court file, (2) an inaccuracy in the application, or (3) the court does not believe you are rehabilitated.

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What if my case is denied?

If the case is denied, we evaluate the reason for the denial and determine the best way to proceed. If we do not believe that refiling would be successful or we recommend the person wait longer to refile, then we evaluate whether there is a basis for appeal.

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What happens after my juvenile adjudication is expunged?

You will receive a court order sealing your juvenile adjudication. Criminal agencies and court databases will be updated to reflect that your juvenile adjudication was expunged.

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How do the agencies know the expungement was granted?

The court will send the granted order to all the public offices or agencies that have records. The agencies will then update their records and the criminal record databases will be updated to reflect that your juvenile adjudication was expunged.

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How long do records take to be updated?

The court updates the court records within 48 hours and the agencies typically take about 30 days.

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Will my record prohibit me from visiting Canada?

If you have been convicted of minor offenses (including assault, dangerous driving, DUI, theft, shoplifting, unauthorized possession of firearms, possession of illegal substances, etc.) or indictable criminal offenses (including assault with a deadly weapon, manslaughter, etc.) you may be prohibited from entrance into Canada and further action will be required to find out whether you will be allowed entrance. The Canadian government has entered into an information sharing agreement with the United States, so the Canadian government will have whatever information the United States has on file. Therefore, the first thing you should do is clear your criminal record to the fullest extent possible before submitting to a background check. The benefit of setting aside will show the Canadian government that the matter was resolved and no longer considered a conviction and improve the odds of not being denied entry to Canada or being stuck at the border for lengthy interrogation.

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Can I get a Sentri pass?

The Border Patrol has discretion in granting or denying Sentri passes. So, the only thing we can say for sure is that it would help; investing in record clearing before applying for a pass would be advantageous. A modest investment in getting a set aside could be the difference between having your request accepted or denied. The set aside will show that you have resolved all matters with the court.

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Can I vote after the expungement is granted?

Voting rights are restored after release from incarceration.

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Will an expungement help with immigration?

Criminal violations may have severe consequences for immigrants, even if the crime is expunged/vacated/sealed. Even minor offenses such as petty theft can make someone deportable or inadmissible, while more serious offenses such as burglary may not have the same consequences. Since each case is unique, getting a case-by-case analysis tailored to your specific facts is imperative. To find out if your criminal conviction will impact your immigration case, contacting a qualified immigration attorney is vital. Our in-house immigration attorney is available to answer questions at 714-617-8395.

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Can I clear my federal conviction?

You can only expunge certain cases. Typically, you have to show that the conviction was wrongful or unconstitutional. Additionally, a person can apply for a pardon through the President. We do not handle federal cases.

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Will expunging my juvenile record restore my right to own a firearm?

No. You should file under OH Revised Code section 2923.14 instead of sealing. However, There is also a lifetime prohibition from the United States government (Lautenberg Amendment to the Violence Against Women Act), which prohibits firearm ownership of those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence as defined by the federal law.

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Who can serve on a jury in Ohio?

In Ohio, you may serve on a jury if you: 1) are at least eighteen years of age, and 2) have not lost your right to serve on a jury by having been convicted of a certain type of crime, unless you have had your rights restored. Civil rights are restored to those with convictions upon final release from parole or post-release control. § 2967.16(C) http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/1901.25 https://www.ohiobar.org/ForPublic/Resources/LawFactsPamphlets/Pages/LawFactsPamphlet-22.aspx http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2967.16

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The first step towards a better life begins with finding out if you are eligible for Ohio Juvenile Expungement.

FREE Eligibility Test


Call us at 614-448-2373 or Toll Free (877) 573-7273
Please take the free online eligibility test before calling.

Law Firm of Higbee & Associates
100 E. Campus View Blvd., Suite #250
Columbus, OH 43235
*By Appointment Only

We handle cases in Adams, Allen, Ashland, Ashtabula, Athens, Auglaize, Belmont, Brown, Butler, Carroll, Champaign, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Columbiana, Coshocton, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Darke, Defiance, Delaware, Erie, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Gallia, Geauga, Greene, Guernsey, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Henry, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Huron, Jackson, Jefferson, Knox, Lake, Lawrence, Licking, Logan, Lorain, Lucas, Madison, Mahoning, Marion, Medina, Meigs, Mercer, Miami, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Ottawa, Paulding, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Portage, Preble, Putnam, Richland, Ross, Sandusky, Scioto, Seneca, Shelby, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Union, Van Wert, Vinton, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Williams, Wood and Wyandot counties.