Expungement - What is it?


Expungement is a legal process in which you ask the Court to seal a record of conviction. If you are successful, it's like the conviction never occurred.

Generally, to be eligible for expungement, you must:

1. be a first-time offender (minor misdemeanors do not count against you for this purpose) ;
2. wait at least 1 year after your case is concluded before requesting to seal a misdemeanor conviction;
3. have no pending charges; and
4. convince the court that you are "rehabilitated".

BE AWARE: certain convictions may never be sealed.  

Please call the office at 372-2951 for an appointment to discuss your specific case.



IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE for expungement, the general process is as follows:

1. You must file a Motion to Seal in the court in which you were convicted (the Bowling Green Municipal Court has a specific form that you may download from their website;
2. The filing fee at the Bowling Green Municipal Court is $80.00;
3. The Motion to Seal should be fully completed and notarized;
4 . Make several copies of the Motion and submit the original and the copies to the Clerk of Courts;
5 . Serve (give) a copy of the Motion to the Prosecutor's office that handled the original criminal case;
6. The Court will review your Motion and do a records check to verify that you are a first-time offender;
7. The Court may schedule a hearing (particularly, if the prosecutor objects to your expungement- a rare occurrence in Bowling Green Municipal Court);
8. If the Court is satisfied, the judge will issue an Order to Seal your records to the arresting agency and all others known to have records of your conviction;
9. It will be up to you to get this Court Order to any other agencies that might have records related to your case;
10. Once the Order to Seal has been issued, you may answer "No" to questions about past criminal convictions.

To read the specific statute regarding Record Sealing, refer to Ohio Revised Code Section 2953.34.