Process for Expunging or Sealing Juvenile Records in Ohio
UPDATED: March 10, 2020
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Sealing and expunging juvenile records in Ohio is a simpler process than seeking adult criminal record expungement. Sealing and expungement of juvenile records in Ohio differs from adult records in that, while the terms are synonymous in the case of adult convictions, sealing and expungement of juvenile records are two different things.
For more on the process for sealing juvenile records, see our article Sealing Juvenile Criminal Records in Ohio. Once your juvenile record has been sealed, the record will also be completely expunged five years after the sealing order is issued, or when the individual turns 23, whichever comes first. Expungement in this context means that not even courts or law enforcement personnel will be able to use your sealed record in the future for purposes like sentencing or counting prior convictions. This differs from sealing and expungement for adults, whose records will always be accessible to courts and law enforcement for those purposes.
You can also file an application for an expungement of your juvenile records before you turn 23 or five years have elapsed. For more on the application process, see Sealing Juvenile Criminal Records in Ohio.
Once a sealing order is made by the court, and expungement of your juvenile records is the next step, you have one other consideration to make: whether or not to sign a waiver releasing your right to sue for issues contained in the expunged records. If you want your record expunged promptly, you probably need to waive the right to sue immediately; otherwise, the court will keep a sealed copy of your records until the time to sue has passed. This amount of time will vary drastically depending on the statutes of limitation associated with the particular crime. You may want to consider using the services of an experienced Ohio criminal attorney to help guide you through this process.
For more information on Ohio expungements, see the following articles: