WHAT IS EXPUNGEMENT? (OR SEALING) OF A RECORD?
Expungement is the sealing of a criminal record so it is not publicly available. The statutes authorizing expungement are Ohio Revised Code sections 2953.32 & 2953.52. While it is believed the following information is accurate, you should consider consulting an Ohio attorney to help you with the expungement process. If you cannot afford a lawyer, The Legal Aid Society of Cincinnati, (513) 241-9400, may be able to help.
WHO QUALIFIES FOR EXPUNGEMENT?
It depends on whether there was a criminal conviction, or the criminal charge was dismissed or there was a finding of not guilty. In any case, a person does not qualify for expungement if criminal proceedings are pending against the person.
PERSONS CONVICTED OF AN OFFENSE
PERSONS FOUND NOT GUILTY OR THE CRIMINAL CHARGE WAS DISMISSED
HOW IS EXPUNGEMENT OBTAINED?
STEP-BY-STEP MUNICIPAL COURT GUIDELINES
- Fee: If you are requesting the expungement of a non-conviction, no fee is required. Go to step 2. Otherwise, you must pay a $50.00 fee to the Clerk of Courts, 513-946-6010, room 112 of the Hamilton County Justice Center, 1000 Sycamore St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. If you indicate to the clerk you cannot afford the $50.00 filing fee, you will be referred to the Assignment Commissioner’s office, see the next step, to fill out the Affidavit of Indigency.
- Proceed to the Assignment Commissioner’s office with any required fee receipt or to fill out, but not sign, the Affidavit of Indigency. The Assignment Commissioner’s office, 513-946-6250, is located in room 117 of the Hamilton County Justice Center, 1000 Sycamore St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. At the Assignment Commissioner’s office, you also will be required to fill out and file the Probation Information Sheet and the appropriate application for expungement. No hearing date will be set, until a completed Probation Information Sheet is received by the Assignment Commissioner’s office.The required forms are available at the Assignment Commissioner’s office and below for download:
Affidavit of Indigency: Word or PDF
Application to Expunge Conviction: Word or PDF [$50.00 Fee]
Application to Expunge Record of Non-Conviction: Word or PDF [No Fee]
Probation Information Sheet: Word or PDF
- The Application to Expunge will be set for consideration by the judge you originally appeared before; the Probation Department will get the Probation Information Sheet; and any Affidavit of Indigency will be filed in your case file. [The expungement request is usually scheduled for hearing in about four to six weeks before the judge. Pending the hearing, your application is checked by the Probation Department for initial eligibility. Be sure to respond promptly to any request for information from the Probation Department. The Probation Department reports its findings to the judge for consideration at the expungement hearing. If you do not respond to the Probation Department, it is likely the department will report that you do not qualify for expungement.]
- On the court date, the clerk assigned to the courtroom will have you sign the Affidavit of Indigency under oath. Please also see WHAT TO DO IF YOU CANNOT MAKE A COURT APPEARANCE.
- If your request for expungement is granted and you have filed the Affidavit of Indigency, but the judge finds you are not indigent, the sealing of your record will not take place until the $50.00 fee is paid. If your request for expungement is granted and the judge finds you are indigent, the record will be sealed without payment of a fee.