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Sealing and Expungement Statutes

Sealing and Expungement Statutes

There are several sealing and expungement statutes in the Ohio Revised Code. We have listed them here for you.

R.C. 2151.355 - Sealing of juvenile court records - definitions.

As used in sections 2151.356 to 2151.358 of the Revised Code:

(A) "Expunge" means to destroy, delete, and erase a record, as appropriate for the record's physical or electronic form or characteristic, so that the record is permanently irretrievable.

(B) "Seal a record" means to remove a record from the main file of similar records and to secure it in a separate file that contains only sealed records accessible only to the juvenile court.

R.C. 2151.356 - Sealing of juvenile court records.

(A) The records of a case in which a person was adjudicated a delinquent child for committing a violation of section 2903.01, 2903.02, or 2907.02 of the Revised Code shall not be sealed under this section.

(B)(1) The juvenile court shall promptly order the immediate sealing of records pertaining to a juvenile in any of the following circumstances:

(a) If the court receives a record from a public office or agency under division (B)(2) of this section;

(b) If a person was brought before or referred to the court for allegedly committing a delinquent or unruly act and the case was resolved without the filing of a complaint against the person with respect to that act pursuant to section 2151.27 of the Revised Code;

(c) If a person was charged with violating division (E)(1) of section 4301.69 of the Revised Code and the person has successfully completed a diversion program under division (E)(2)(a) of section 4301.69 of the Revised Code with respect to that charge;

(d) If a complaint was filed against a person alleging that the person was a delinquent child, an unruly child, or a juvenile traffic offender and the court dismisses the complaint after a trial on the merits of the case or finds the person not to be a delinquent child, an unruly child, or a juvenile traffic offender;

(e) Notwithstanding division (C) of this section and subject to section 2151.358 of the Revised Code, if a person has been adjudicated an unruly child, that person has attained eighteen years of age, and the person is not under the jurisdiction of the court in relation to a complaint alleging the person to be a delinquent child.

(2) The appropriate public office or agency shall immediately deliver all original records at that public office or agency pertaining to a juvenile to the court, if the person was arrested or taken into custody for allegedly committing a delinquent or unruly act, no complaint was filed against the person with respect to the commission of the act pursuant to section 2151.27 of the Revised Code, and the person was not brought before or referred to the court for the commission of the act. The records delivered to the court as required under this division shall not include fingerprints, DNA specimens, and DNA records described under division (A)(3) of section 2151.357of the Revised Code.

(C)(1) The juvenile court shall consider the sealing of records pertaining to a juvenile upon the court's own motion or upon the application of a person if the person has been adjudicated a delinquent child for committing an act other than a violation of section 2903.01, 2903.02, or 2907.02 of the Revised Code, an unruly child, or a juvenile traffic offender and if, at the time of the motion or application, the person is not under the jurisdiction of the court in relation to a complaint alleging the person to be a delinquent child. The court shall not require a fee for the filing of the application. The motion or application may be made on or after the time specified in whichever of the following is applicable:

(a) If the person is under eighteen years of age, at any time after six months after any of the following events occur:

(i) The termination of any order made by the court in relation to the adjudication;

(ii) The unconditional discharge of the person from the department of youth services with respect to a dispositional order made in relation to the adjudication or from an institution or facility to which the person was committed pursuant to a dispositional order made in relation to the adjudication;

(iii) The court enters an order under section 2152.84 or 2152.85 of the Revised Code that contains a determination that the child is no longer a juvenile offender registrant.

(b) If the person is eighteen years of age or older, at any time after the later of the following:

(i) The person's attainment of eighteen years of age;

(ii) The occurrence of any event identified in divisions (C)(1)(a)(i) to (iii) of this section.

(2) In making the determination whether to seal records pursuant to division (C)(1) of this section, all of the following apply:

(a) The court may require a person filing an application under division (C)(1) of this section to submit any relevant documentation to support the application.

(b) The court may cause an investigation to be made to determine if the person who is the subject of the proceedings has been rehabilitated to a satisfactory degree.

(c) The court shall promptly, but not less than thirty days prior to the hearing, notify the prosecuting attorney of any proceedings to seal records initiated pursuant to division (C)(1) of this section. The prosecutor shall provide timely notice to a victim and a victim's representative, if applicable, if the victim or victim's representative requested notice of the proceedings in the underlying case.

(d)(i) The prosecuting attorney may file a response with the court within thirty days of receiving notice of the sealing proceedings.

(ii) If the prosecuting attorney does not file a response with the court or if the prosecuting attorney files a response but indicates that the prosecuting attorney does not object to the sealing of the records, the court may order the records of the person that are under consideration to be sealed without conducting a hearing on the motion or application. If the court decides in its discretion to conduct a hearing on the motion or application, the court shall conduct the hearing within thirty days after making that decision and shall give notice, by regular mail, of the date, time, and location of the hearing to the prosecuting attorney and to the person who is the subject of the records under consideration. The victim, the victim's representative, and the victim's attorney, if applicable, may be present and heard orally, in writing, or both at any hearing under this division. The court shall consider the oral and written statement of any victim, victim's representative, and victim's attorney, if applicable.

(iii) If the prosecuting attorney files a response with the court that indicates that the prosecuting attorney objects to the sealing of the records, the court shall conduct a hearing on the motion or application within thirty days after the court receives the response. The court shall give notice, by regular mail, of the date, time, and location of the hearing to the prosecuting attorney and to the person who is the subject of the records under consideration. The victim, the victim's representative, and the victim's attorney, if applicable, may be present and heard orally, in writing, or both at any hearing under this division. The court shall consider the oral and written statement of any victim, victim's representative, and victim's attorney, if applicable.

(e) After conducting a hearing in accordance with division (C)(2)(d) of this section or after due consideration when a hearing is not conducted, except as provided in division (B)(1)(c) of this section, the court may order the records of the person that are the subject of the motion or application to be sealed if it finds that the person has been rehabilitated to a satisfactory degree. In determining whether the person has been rehabilitated to a satisfactory degree, the court may consider all of the following:

(i) The age of the person;

(ii) The nature of the case;

(iii) The cessation or continuation of delinquent, unruly, or criminal behavior;

(iv) The education and employment history of the person;

(v) The granting of a new tier classification or declassification from the juvenile offender registry pursuant to section 2152.85 of the Revised Code, except for public registry-qualified juvenile offender registrants;

(vi) Any other circumstances that may relate to the rehabilitation of the person who is the subject of the records under consideration.

(D)(1)(a) The juvenile court shall provide verbal notice to a person whose records are sealed under division (B) of this section, if that person is present in the court at the time the court issues a sealing order, that explains what sealing a record means, states that the person may apply to have those records expunged under section 2151.358 of the Revised Code, and explains what expunging a record means.

(b) The juvenile court shall provide written notice to a person whose records are sealed under division (B) of this section by regular mail to the person's last known address, if that person is not present in the court at the time the court issues a sealing order and if the court does not seal the person's record upon the court's own motion, that explains what sealing a record means, states that the person may apply to have those records expunged under section 2151.358 of the Revised Code, and explains what expunging a record means.

(2) Upon final disposition of a case in which a person has been adjudicated a delinquent child for committing an act other than a violation of section 2903.01, 2903.02, or 2907.02 of the Revised Code, an unruly child, or a juvenile traffic offender, the juvenile court shall provide written notice to the person that does all of the following:

(a) States that the person may apply to the court for an order to seal the record;

(b) Explains what sealing a record means;

(c) States that the person may apply to the court for an order to expunge the record under section 2151.358 of the Revised Code;

(d) Explains what expunging a record means.

(3) The department of youth services and any other institution or facility that unconditionally discharges a person who has been adjudicated a delinquent child, an unruly child, or a juvenile traffic offender shall immediately give notice of the discharge to the court that committed the person. The court shall note the date of discharge on a separate record of discharges of those natures.

R.C. 2151.357 - Response respecting sealed records - index - limited inspection.

(A) If the court orders the records of a person sealed pursuant to section 2151.356 of the Revised Code, the person who is subject of the order properly may, and the court shall, reply that no record exists with respect to the person upon any inquiry in the matter, and the court, except as provided in division (D) of this section, shall do all of the following:

(1) Order that the proceedings in a case described in divisions (B) and (C) of section 2151.356 of the Revised Code be deemed never to have occurred;

(2) Except as provided in division (C) of this section, delete all index references to the case and the person so that the references are permanently irretrievable;

(3) Order that all original records of the case maintained by any public office or agency, except fingerprints held by a law enforcement agency, DNA specimens collected pursuant to section 2152.74 of the Revised Code, and DNA records derived from DNA specimens pursuant to section 109.573 of the Revised Code, be delivered to the court;

(4) Order each public office or agency, upon the delivering of records to the court under division (A)(3) of this section, to expunge remaining records of the case that are the subject of the sealing order that are maintained by that public office or agency, except fingerprints, DNA specimens, and DNA records described under division (A)(3) of this section;

(5) Send notice of the order to seal to any public office or agency that the court has reason to believe may have a record of the sealed record including, but not limited to, the bureau of criminal identification and investigation;

(6) Seal all of the records delivered to the court under division (A)(3) of this section, in a separate file in which only sealed records are maintained.

(B) Except as provided in division (D) of this section, an order to seal under section 2151.356 of the Revised Code applies to every public office or agency that has a record relating to the case, regardless of whether it receives notice of the hearing on the sealing of the record or a copy of the order. Except as provided in division (D) of this section, upon the written request of a person whose record has been sealed and the presentation of a copy of the order and compliance with division (A)(3) of this section, a public office or agency shall expunge its record relating to the case, except a record of the adjudication or arrest or taking into custody that is maintained for compiling statistical data and that does not contain any reference to the person who is the subject of the order.

(C) The court that maintains sealed records pursuant to this section may maintain a manual or computerized index of the sealed records and shall make the index available only for the purposes set forth in division (E) of this section.

(1) Each entry regarding a sealed record in the index of sealed records shall contain all of the following:

(a) The name of the person who is the subject of the sealed record;

(b) An alphanumeric identifier relating to the person who is the subject of the sealed record;

(c) The word "sealed";

(d) The name of the court that has custody of the sealed record.

(2) Any entry regarding a sealed record in the index of sealed records shall not contain either of the following:

(a) The social security number of the person who is subject of the sealed record;

(b) The name or a description of the act committed.

(D) Notwithstanding any provision of this section that requires otherwise, a board of education of a city, local, exempted village, or joint vocational school district that maintains records of an individual who has been permanently excluded under sections 3301.121 and 3313.662 of the Revised Code is permitted to maintain records regarding an adjudication that the individual is a delinquent child that was used as the basis for the individual's permanent exclusion, regardless of a court order to seal the record. An order issued under section 2151.356 of the Revised Code to seal the record of an adjudication that an individual is a delinquent child does not revoke the adjudication order of the superintendent of public instruction to permanently exclude the individual who is the subject of the sealing order. An order to seal the record of an adjudication that an individual is a delinquent child may be presented to a district superintendent as evidence to support the contention that the superintendent should recommend that the permanent exclusion of the individual who is the subject of the sealing order be revoked. Except as otherwise authorized by this division and sections 3301.121 and 3313.662 of the Revised Code, any school employee in possession of or having access to the sealed adjudication records of an individual that were the basis of a permanent exclusion of the individual is subject to division (F) of this section.

(E) Inspection of records that have been ordered sealed under section 2151.356 of the Revised Code may be made only by the following persons or for the following purposes:

(1) By the court;

(2) If the records in question pertain to an act that would be an offense of violence that would be a felony if committed by an adult, by any law enforcement officer or any prosecutor, or the assistants of a law enforcement officer or prosecutor, for any valid law enforcement or prosecutorial purpose;

(3) Upon application by the person who is the subject of the sealed records, by the person that is named in that application;

(4) If the records in question pertain to an alleged violation of division (E)(1) of section 4301.69 of the Revised Code, by any law enforcement officer or any prosecutor, or the assistants of a law enforcement officer or prosecutor, for the purpose of determining whether the person is eligible for diversion under division (E)(2) of section 4301.69 of the Revised Code;

(5) At the request of a party in a civil action that is based on a case the records for which are the subject of a sealing order issued under section 2151.356 of the Revised Code, as needed for the civil action. The party also may copy the records as needed for the civil action. The sealed records shall be used solely in the civil action and are otherwise confidential and subject to the provisions of this section;

(6) By the attorney general or an authorized employee of the attorney general or the court for purposes of determining whether a child is a public registry-qualified juvenile offender registrant, as defined in section 2950.01 of the Revised Code, for purposes of Chapter 2950. of the Revised Code.

(F) No officer or employee of the state or any of its political subdivisions shall knowingly release, disseminate, or make available for any purpose involving employment, bonding, licensing, or education to any person or to any department, agency, or other instrumentality of the state or of any of its political subdivisions any information or other data concerning any arrest, taking into custody, complaint, indictment, information, trial, hearing, adjudication, or correctional supervision, the records of which have been sealed pursuant to section 2151.356 of the Revised Code and the release, dissemination, or making available of which is not expressly permitted by this section. Whoever violates this division is guilty of divulging confidential information, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

(G) In any application for employment, license, or other right or privilege, any appearance as a witness, or any other inquiry, a person may not be questioned with respect to any arrest or taking into custody for which the records were sealed. If an inquiry is made in violation of this division, the person may respond as if the sealed arrest or taking into custody did not occur, and the person shall not be subject to any adverse action because of the arrest or taking into custody or the response.

(H) The judgment rendered by the court under this chapter shall not impose any of the civil disabilities ordinarily imposed by conviction of a crime in that the child is not a criminal by reason of the adjudication, and no child shall be charged with or convicted of a crime in any court except as provided by this chapter. The disposition of a child under the judgment rendered or any evidence given in court shall not operate to disqualify a child in any future civil service examination, appointment, or application. Evidence of a judgment rendered and the disposition of a child under the judgment is not admissible to impeach the credibility of the child in any action or proceeding. Otherwise, the disposition of a child under the judgment rendered or any evidence given in court is admissible as evidence for or against the child in any action or proceeding in any court in accordance with the Rules of Evidence and also may be considered by any court as to the matter of sentence or to the granting of probation, and a court may consider the judgment rendered and the disposition of a child under that judgment for purposes of determining whether the child, for a future criminal conviction or guilty plea, is a repeat violent offender, as defined in section 2929.01 of the Revised Code.

R.C. 2151.358 - Expungement of sealed records. 

(A) The juvenile court shall expunge all records sealed under section 2151.356 of the Revised Code five years after the court issues a sealing order or upon the twenty-third birthday of the person who is the subject of the sealing order, whichever date is earlier.

(B) Notwithstanding division (A) of this section, upon application by the person who has had a record sealed under section 2151.356 of the Revised Code, the juvenile court may expunge a record sealed under section 2151.356 of the Revised Code. In making the determination whether to expunge records, all of the following apply:

(1) The court may require a person filing an application for expungement to submit any relevant documentation to support the application.

(2) The court may cause an investigation to be made to determine if the person who is the subject of the proceedings has been rehabilitated to a satisfactory degree.

(3) The court shall promptly, but not less than thirty days prior to the hearing, notify the prosecuting attorney of any proceedings to expunge records. The prosecutor shall provide timely notice to a victim and the victim's representative, if applicable, if the victim or victim's representative requested notice of the proceedings in the underlying case.

(4)(a) The prosecuting attorney may file a response with the court within thirty days of receiving notice of the expungement proceedings.

(b) If the prosecuting attorney does not file a response with the court or if the prosecuting attorney files a response but indicates that the prosecuting attorney does not object to the expungement of the records, the court may order the records of the person that are under consideration to be expunged without conducting a hearing on the application. If the court decides in its discretion to conduct a hearing on the application, the court shall conduct the hearing within thirty days after making that decision and shall give notice, by regular mail, of the date, time, and location of the hearing to the prosecuting attorney and to the person who is the subject of the records under consideration. The victim and the victim's representative, if applicable, may be present and heard orally, in writing, or both at any hearing under this division. The court shall consider the oral and written statement of any victim, victim's representative, and victim's attorney, if applicable.

(c) If the prosecuting attorney files a response with the court that indicates that the prosecuting attorney objects to the expungement of the records, the court shall conduct a hearing on the application within thirty days after the court receives the response. The court shall give notice, by regular mail, of the date, time, and location of the hearing to the prosecuting attorney and to the person who is the subject of the records under consideration. The victim and the victim's representative, if applicable, may be present and heard orally, in writing, or both at any hearing under this section. The court shall consider the oral and written statement of any victim, victim's representative, and victim's attorney, if applicable.

(5) After conducting a hearing in accordance with division (B)(4) of this section or after due consideration when a hearing is not conducted, the court may order the records of the person that are the subject of the application to be expunged if it finds that the person has been rehabilitated to a satisfactory degree. In determining whether the person has been rehabilitated to a satisfactory degree, the court may consider all of the following:

(a) The age of the person;

(b) The nature of the case;

(c) The cessation or continuation of delinquent, unruly, or criminal behavior;

(d) The education and employment history of the person;

(e) Any other circumstances that may relate to the rehabilitation of the person who is the subject of the records under consideration.

(C) If the juvenile court is notified by any party in a civil action that a civil action has been filed based on a case the records for which are the subject of a sealing order, the juvenile court shall not expunge a record sealed under section 2151.356 of the Revised Code until the civil action has been resolved and is not subject to further appellate review, at which time the records shall be expunged pursuant to division (A) of this section.

(D)(1) A juvenile court that issues a protection order or approves a consent agreement under section 2151.34 or 3113.31 of the Revised Code shall automatically seal all of the records of the proceeding in which the order was issued or agreement approved on the date the person against whom the protection order was issued or the consent agreement approved attains the age of nineteen years if the court determines that the person has complied with all of the terms of the protection order or consent agreement.

(2) In a proceeding under section 2151.34 of the Revised Code, if the juvenile court does not issue any protection order under division (E) of that section, the court shall automatically seal all of the records in that proceeding. In a proceeding under section 3113.31 of the Revised Code, if the juvenile court does not issue any protection order or approve any consent agreement under division (E) of that section, the court shall automatically seal all of the records in that proceeding.

(3)(a) If a juvenile court that issues a protection order or approves a consent agreement under section 2151.34 or 3113.31 of the Revised Code determines that the person against whom the protection order was issued or the consent agreement approved has not complied with all of the terms of the protection order or consent agreement, the court shall consider sealing all of the records of the proceeding in which the order was issued or agreement approved upon the court's own motion or upon the application of a person. The court may make the motion or the person who is the subject of the records under consideration may apply for an order sealing the records of the proceeding at any time after two years after the expiration of the protection order or consent agreement.

(b) In making a determination whether to seal records pursuant to division (D)(3) of this section, all of the following apply:

(i) The court may require a person filing an application under division (D)(3) of this section to submit any relevant documentation to support the application.

(ii) The court shall promptly notify the victim or the victim's attorney of any proceedings to seal records initiated pursuant to division (D)(3) of this section.

(iii) The victim or the victim's attorney may file a response with the court within thirty days of receiving notice of the sealing proceedings.

If the victim or the victim's attorney does not file a response with the court or if the victim or the victim's attorney files a response but indicates that the victim or the victim's attorney does not object to the sealing of the records, the court may order the records of the person that are under consideration to be sealed without conducting a hearing on the motion or application. If the court decides in its discretion to conduct a hearing on the motion or application, the court shall conduct the hearing within thirty days after making that decision and shall give notice, by regular mail, of the date, time, and location of the hearing to the victim or the victim's attorney and to the person who is the subject of the records under consideration.

If the victim or the victim's attorney files a response with the court that indicates that the victim or the victim's attorney objects to the sealing of the records, the court shall conduct a hearing on the motion or application within thirty days after the court receives the response. The court shall give notice, by regular mail, of the date, time, and location of the hearing to the victim or the victim's attorney and to the person who is the subject of the records under consideration.

(iv) After conducting a hearing in accordance with division (D)(3)(b)(iii) of this section or after due consideration when a hearing is not conducted, the court may order the records of the person that are the subject of the motion or application to be sealed.

(4) Inspection of the records sealed pursuant to division (D)(1), (2), or (3) of this section may be made only by the following persons or for the following purposes:

(a) By a law enforcement officer or prosecutor, or the assistants of either, to determine whether the nature and character of the offense with which a person is to be charged would be affected by virtue of the person's previously having been convicted of a crime;

(b) By the parole or probation officer of the person who is the subject of the records, for the exclusive use of the officer in supervising the person while on parole or under a community control sanction or a post-release control sanction, and in making inquiries and written reports as requested by the court or adult parole authority;

(c) Upon application by the person who is the subject of the records, by the persons named in the application;

(d) By a law enforcement officer who was involved in the case, for use in the officer's defense of a civil action arising out of the officer's involvement in that case;

(e) By a prosecuting attorney or the prosecuting attorney's assistants, to determine a defendant's eligibility to enter a pre-trial diversion program established pursuant to section 2935.36 of the Revised Code;

(f) By any law enforcement agency or any authorized employee of a law enforcement agency or by the department of rehabilitation and correction as part of a background investigation of a person who applies for employment with the agency as a law enforcement officer or with the department as a corrections officer;

(g) By any law enforcement agency or any authorized employee of a law enforcement agency, for the purposes set forth in, and in the manner provided in, division (I) of section 2953.34 of the Revised Code;

(h) By the bureau of criminal identification and investigation or any authorized employee of the bureau for the purpose of providing information to a board or person pursuant to division (F) or (G) of section 109.57 of the Revised Code;

(i) By the bureau of criminal identification and investigation or any authorized employee of the bureau for the purpose of performing a criminal history records check on a person to whom a certificate as prescribed in section 109.77 of the Revised Code is to be awarded;

(j) By the bureau of criminal identification and investigation or any authorized employee of the bureau for the purpose of conducting a criminal records check of an individual pursuant to division (B) of section 109.572 of the Revised Code that was requested pursuant to any of the sections identified in division (B)(1) of that section;

(k) By the bureau of criminal identification and investigation, an authorized employee of the bureau, a sheriff, or an authorized employee of a sheriff in connection with a criminal records check described in section 311.41 of the Revised Code;

(l) By the attorney general or an authorized employee of the attorney general or a court for purposes of determining a person's classification pursuant to Chapter 2950. of the Revised Code.

When the nature and character of the offense with which a person is to be charged would be affected by the information, it may be used for the purpose of charging the person with an offense.

(E) In addition to the methods of expungement provided for in divisions (A) and (B) of this section, a person who has been adjudicated a delinquent child for having committed an act that would be a violation of section 2907.24, 2907.241, or 2907.25 of the Revised Code if the child were an adult may apply to the adjudicating court for the expungement of the record of adjudication if the person's participation in the act was a result of the person having been a victim of human trafficking. The application shall be made in the same manner as an application for expungement under section 2953.36 of the Revised Code, and all of the provisions of that section shall apply to the expungement procedure.

(F) After the records have been expunged under this section, the person who is the subject of the expunged records properly may, and the court shall, reply that no record exists with respect to the person upon any inquiry in the matter.

R.C. 2953.31 - Sealing or expungement of record of conviction or bail forfeiture - definitions

(A) As used in sections 2953.31 to 2953.521 of the Revised Code:

(1) "Prosecutor" means the county prosecuting attorney, city director of law, village solicitor, or similar chief legal officer, who has the authority to prosecute a criminal case in the court in which the case is filed.

(2) "Bail forfeiture" means the forfeiture of bail by a defendant who is arrested for the commission of a misdemeanor, other than a defendant in a traffic case as defined in Traffic Rule 2, if the forfeiture is pursuant to an agreement with the court and prosecutor in the case.

(3) "Official records" means all records that are possessed by any public office or agency that relate to a criminal case, including, but not limited to: the notation to the case in the criminal docket; all subpoenas issued in the case; all papers and documents filed by the defendant or the prosecutor in the case; all records of all testimony and evidence presented in all proceedings in the case; all court files, papers, documents, folders, entries, affidavits, or writs that pertain to the case; all computer, microfilm, microfiche, or microdot records, indices, or references to the case; all index references to the case; all fingerprints and photographs; all DNA specimens, DNA records, and DNA profiles; all records and investigative reports pertaining to the case that are possessed by any law enforcement officer or agency, except that any records or reports that are the specific investigatory work product of a law enforcement officer or agency are not and shall not be considered to be official records when they are in the possession of that officer or agency; all investigative records and reports other than those possessed by a law enforcement officer or agency pertaining to the case; and all records that are possessed by any public office or agency that relate to an application for, or the issuance or denial of, a certificate of qualification for employment under section 2953.25 of the Revised Code.

"Official records" does not include any of the following:

(a) Records or reports maintained pursuant to section 2151.421 of the Revised Code by a public children services agency or the department of job and family services;

(b) Any report of an investigation maintained by the inspector general pursuant to section 121.42 of the Revised Code, to the extent that the report contains information that pertains to an individual who was convicted of or pleaded guilty to an offense discovered in or related to the investigation and whose conviction or guilty plea was not overturned on appeal;

(c) Records, reports, or audits maintained by the auditor of state pursuant to Chapter 117. of the Revised Code.

(4) "Official proceeding" has the same meaning as in section 2921.01 of the Revised Code.

(5) "Community control sanction" has the same meaning as in section 2929.01 of the Revised Code.

(6) "Post-release control" and "post-release control sanction" have the same meanings as in section 2967.01 of the Revised Code.

(7) "DNA database," "DNA record," and "law enforcement agency" have the same meanings as in section 109.573 of the Revised Code.

(8) "Fingerprints filed for record" means any fingerprints obtained by the superintendent of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation pursuant to sections 109.57 and 109.571 of the Revised Code.

(9) "Investigatory work product" means any records or reports of a law enforcement officer or agency that are excepted from the definition of "official records" and that pertain to a conviction or bail forfeiture, the records of which have been ordered sealed or expunged pursuant to division (D)(2) of section 2953.32 or division (F)(1) of section 2953.39 of the Revised Code, or that pertain to a conviction or delinquent child adjudication, the records of which have been ordered expunged pursuant to division (E) of section 2151.358, division (C)(2) of section 2953.35, or division (F) of section 2953.36 of the Revised Code.

(10) "Law enforcement or justice system matter" means an arrest, complaint, indictment, trial, hearing, adjudication, conviction, or correctional supervision.

(11) "Record of conviction" means the record related to a conviction of or plea of guilty to an offense.

(12) "Victim of human trafficking" means a person who is or was a victim of a violation of section 2905.32 of the Revised Code, regardless of whether anyone has been convicted of a violation of that section or of any other section for victimizing the person.

(13) "No bill" means a report by the foreperson or deputy foreperson of a grand jury that an indictment is not found by the grand jury against a person who has been held to answer before the grand jury for the commission of an offense.

(14) "Court" means the court in which a case is pending at the time a finding of not guilty in the case or a dismissal of the complaint, indictment, or information in the case is entered on the minutes or journal of the court, or the court to which the foreperson or deputy foreperson of a grand jury reports, pursuant to section 2939.23of the Revised Code, that the grand jury has returned a no bill.

(B)(1) As used in section 2953.32 of the Revised Code, "expunge" means the expungement process described in section 2953.32 of the Revised Code.

(2) As used in sections 2953.33 to 2953.521 of the Revised Code, "expunge" means both of the following:

(a) The expungement process described in sections 2953.35, 2953.36, 2953.39, and 2953.521 of the Revised Code;

(b) To destroy, delete, and erase a record as appropriate for the record's physical or electronic form or characteristic so that the record is permanently irretrievable.

R.C. 2953.32 - Sealing or expungement of record of conviction record or bail forfeiture; exceptions.

Sections 2953.32 to 2953.34 of the Revised Code do not apply to any of the following:

(1) Convictions under Chapter 4506., 4507., 4510., 4511., or 4549. of the Revised Code, or a conviction for a violation of a municipal ordinance that is substantially similar to any section contained in any of those chapters;

(2) Convictions of a felony offense of violence that is not a sexually oriented offense;

(3) Convictions of a sexually oriented offense when the offender is subject to the requirements of Chapter 2950. of the Revised Code or Chapter 2950. of the Revised Code as it existed prior to January 1, 2008;

(4) Convictions of an offense in circumstances in which the victim of the offense was less than thirteen years of age, except for convictions under section 2919.21of the Revised Code;

(5) Convictions of a felony of the first or second degree or of more than two felonies of the third degree;

(6) Convictions for a violation of section 2919.25 or 2919.27 of the Revised Code or a conviction for a violation of a municipal ordinance that is substantially similar to either section.

(B)(1) Except as provided in section 2953.61 of the Revised Code or as otherwise provided in division (B)(1)(a)(iii) of this section, an eligible offender may apply to the sentencing court if convicted in this state, or to a court of common pleas if convicted in another state or in a federal court, for the sealing or expungement of the record of the case that pertains to the conviction, except for convictions listed in division (A) of this section. Application may be made at whichever of the following times is applicable regarding the offense:

(a) An application for sealing under this section may be made at whichever of the following times is applicable regarding the offense:

(i) Except as otherwise provided in division (B)(1)(a)(iv) of this section, at the expiration of three years after the offender's final discharge if convicted of one or two felonies of the third degree, so long as none of the offenses is a violation of section 2921.43 of the Revised Code;

(ii) Except as otherwise provided in division (B)(1)(a)(iv) of this section, at the expiration of one year after the offender's final discharge if convicted of one or more felonies of the fourth or fifth degree or one or more misdemeanors, so long as none of the offenses is a violation of section 2921.43 of the Revised Code or a felony offense of violence;

(iii) At the expiration of seven years after the offender's final discharge if the record includes one or more convictions of soliciting improper compensation in violation of section 2921.43 of the Revised Code;

(iv) If the offender was subject to the requirements of Chapter 2950. of the Revised Code or Chapter 2950. of the Revised Code as it existed prior to January 1, 2008, at the expiration of five years after the requirements have ended under section 2950.07 of the Revised Code or section 2950.07 of the Revised Code as it existed prior to January 1, 2008, or are terminated under section 2950.15 or 2950.151 of the Revised Code;

(v) At the expiration of six months after the offender's final discharge if convicted of a minor misdemeanor.

(b) An application for expungement under this section may be made at whichever of the following times is applicable regarding the offense:

(i) Except as otherwise provided in division (B)(1)(b)(ii) of this section, if the offense is a misdemeanor, at the expiration of one year after the offender's final discharge;

(ii) If the offense is a minor misdemeanor, at the expiration of six months after the offender's final discharge;

(iii) If the offense is a felony, at the expiration of ten years after the time specified in division (B)(1)(a) of this section at which the person may file an application for sealing with respect to that felony offense.

(2) Any person who has been arrested for any misdemeanor offense and who has effected a bail forfeiture for the offense charged may apply to the court in which the misdemeanor criminal case was pending when bail was forfeited for the sealing or expungement of the record of the case that pertains to the charge. Except as provided in section 2953.61 of the Revised Code, the application may be filed at whichever of the following times is applicable regarding the offense:

(a) An application for sealing may be made at any time after the date on which the bail forfeiture was entered upon the minutes of the court or the journal, whichever entry occurs first.

(b) An application for expungement may be made at any time after the expiration of three years from the date on which the bail forfeiture was entered upon the minutes of the court or the journal, whichever entry occurs first.

(C) Upon the filing of an application under this section, the court shall set a date for a hearing and shall notify the prosecutor for the case of the hearing on the application not less than sixty days prior to the hearing. The prosecutor shall provide timely notice to a victim and victim's representative, if applicable, if the victim or victim's representative requested notice of the proceedings in the underlying case. The court shall hold the hearing not less than forty-five days and not more than ninety days from the date of the filing of the application. The prosecutor may object to the granting of the application by filing a written objection with the court not later than thirty days prior to the date set for the hearing. The prosecutor shall specify in the objection the reasons for believing a denial of the application is justified. The prosecutor shall provide notice of the application and the date and time of the hearing to the victim of the offense in the case pursuant to the Ohio Constitution. The victim, victim's representative, and victim's attorney, if applicable, may be present and heard orally, in writing, or both at any hearing under this section. The court shall direct its regular probation officer, a state probation officer, or the department of probation of the county in which the applicant resides to make inquiries and written reports as the court requires concerning the applicant. The probation officer or county department of probation that the court directs to make inquiries and written reports as the court requires concerning the applicant shall determine whether or not the applicant was fingerprinted at the time of arrest or under section 109.60 of the Revised Code. If the applicant was so fingerprinted, the probation officer or county department of probation shall include with the written report a record of the applicant's fingerprints. If the applicant was convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of division (A)(2) or (B) of section 2919.21 of the Revised Code, the probation officer or county department of probation that the court directed to make inquiries concerning the applicant shall contact the child support enforcement agency enforcing the applicant's obligations under the child support order to inquire about the offender's compliance with the child support order.

(D)(1) At the hearing held under division (C) of this section, the court shall do each of the following:

(a) Determine whether the applicant is pursuing sealing or expunging a conviction of an offense that is prohibited under division (A) of this section or whether the forfeiture of bail was agreed to by the applicant and the prosecutor in the case, and determine whether the application was made at the time specified in division (B)(1)(a) or (b) or division (B)(2)(a) or (b) of this section that is applicable with respect to the application and the subject offense;

(b) Determine whether criminal proceedings are pending against the applicant;

(c) Determine whether the applicant has been rehabilitated to the satisfaction of the court;

(d) If the prosecutor has filed an objection in accordance with division (C) of this section, consider the reasons against granting the application specified by the prosecutor in the objection;

(e) If the victim objected, pursuant to the Ohio Constitution, consider the reasons against granting the application specified by the victim in the objection;

(f) Weigh the interests of the applicant in having the records pertaining to the applicant's conviction or bail forfeiture sealed or expunged against the legitimate needs, if any, of the government to maintain those records;

(g) Consider the oral or written statement of any victim, victim's representative, and victim's attorney, if applicable;

(h) If the applicant was an eligible offender of the type described in division (A)(3) of section 2953.36 of the Revised Code as it existed prior to the effective date of this amendment, determine whether the offender has been rehabilitated to a satisfactory degree. In making the determination, the court may consider all of the following:

(i) The age of the offender;

(ii) The facts and circumstances of the offense;

(iii) The cessation or continuation of criminal behavior;

(iv) The education and employment of the offender;

(v) Any other circumstances that may relate to the offender's rehabilitation.

(2) If the court determines, after complying with division (D)(1) of this section, that the offender is not pursuing sealing or expunging a conviction of an offense that is prohibited under division (A) of this section or that the forfeiture of bail was agreed to by the applicant and the prosecutor in the case, that the application was made at the time specified in division (B)(1)(a) or (b) or division (B)(2)(a) or (b) of this section that is applicable with respect to the application and the subject offense, that no criminal proceeding is pending against the applicant, that the interests of the applicant in having the records pertaining to the applicant's conviction or bail forfeiture sealed or expunged are not outweighed by any legitimate governmental needs to maintain those records, and that the rehabilitation of the applicant has been attained to the satisfaction of the court, both of the following apply:

(a) The court, except as provided in division (D)(4) or (5) of this section or division (D), (F), or (G) of section 2953.34 of the Revised Code, shall order all official records of the case that pertain to the conviction or bail forfeiture sealed if the application was for sealing or expunged if the application was for expungement and, except as provided in division (C) of section 2953.34 of the Revised Code, all index references to the case that pertain to the conviction or bail forfeiture deleted and, in the case of bail forfeitures, shall dismiss the charges in the case.

(b) The proceedings in the case that pertain to the conviction or bail forfeiture shall be considered not to have occurred and the conviction or bail forfeiture of the person who is the subject of the proceedings shall be sealed if the application was for sealing or expunged if the application was for expungement, except that upon conviction of a subsequent offense, a sealed record of prior conviction or bail forfeiture may be considered by the court in determining the sentence or other appropriate disposition, including the relief provided for in sections 2953.31, 2953.32, and 2953.34 of the Revised Code.

(3) An applicant may request the sealing or expungement of the records of more than one case in a single application under this section. Upon the filing of an application under this section, the applicant, unless the applicant presents a poverty affidavit showing that the applicant is indigent, shall pay a fee of not more than fifty dollars, including local court fees, regardless of the number of records the application requests to have sealed or expunged. If the applicant pays a fee, the court shall pay three-fifths of the fee collected into the state treasury, with half of that amount credited to the attorney general reimbursement fund created by section 109.11 of the Revised Code. If the applicant pays a fee, the court shall pay two-fifths of the fee collected into the county general revenue fund if the sealed or expunged conviction or bail forfeiture was pursuant to a state statute, or into the general revenue fund of the municipal corporation involved if the sealed or expunged conviction or bail forfeiture was pursuant to a municipal ordinance.

(4) If the court orders the official records pertaining to the case sealed or expunged, the court shall do one of the following:

(a) If the applicant was fingerprinted at the time of arrest or under section 109.60 of the Revised Code and the record of the applicant's fingerprints was provided to the court under division (C) of this section, forward a copy of the sealing or expungement order and the record of the applicant's fingerprints to the bureau of criminal identification and investigation.

(b) If the applicant was not fingerprinted at the time of arrest or under section 109.60 of the Revised Code, or the record of the applicant's fingerprints was not provided to the court under division (C) of this section, but fingerprinting was required for the offense, order the applicant to appear before a sheriff to have the applicant's fingerprints taken according to the fingerprint system of identification on the forms furnished by the superintendent of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation. The sheriff shall forward the applicant's fingerprints to the court. The court shall forward the applicant's fingerprints and a copy of the sealing or expungement order to the bureau of criminal identification and investigation.

Failure of the court to order fingerprints at the time of sealing or expungement does not constitute a reversible error.

(5) Notwithstanding any other provision of the Revised Code to the contrary, when the bureau of criminal identification and investigation receives notice from a court that a conviction has been expunged under this section, the bureau of criminal identification and investigation shall maintain a record of the expunged conviction record for the limited purpose of determining an individual's qualification or disqualification for employment in law enforcement. The bureau of criminal identification and investigation shall not be compelled by the court to expunge those records. These records may only be disclosed or provided to law enforcement for the limited purpose of determining an individual's qualification or disqualification for employment in law enforcement.

R.C. 2953.33 - [Former R.C. 2953.52, amended and renumbered by H.B. 288, 134th General Assembly, effective 4/4/2023] Sealing of official records after not guilty finding, dismissal of proceedings, grand jury no bill, or pardon.

(A)(1) Any person, who is found not guilty of an offense by a jury or a court or who is the defendant named in a dismissed complaint, indictment, or information, may apply to the court for an order to seal the person's official records in the case. Except as provided in section 2953.61 of the Revised Code, the application may be filed at any time after the finding of not guilty or the dismissal of the complaint, indictment, or information is entered upon the minutes of the court or the journal, whichever entry occurs first.

(2) Any person, against whom a no bill is entered by a grand jury, may apply to the court for an order to seal the person's official records in the case. Except as provided in section 2953.61 of the Revised Code, the application may be filed at any time after the expiration of two years after the date on which the foreperson or deputy foreperson of the grand jury reports to the court that the grand jury has reported a no bill.

(3) Any person who is granted by the governor under division (B) of section 2967.02 of the Revised Code an absolute and entire pardon, a partial pardon, or a pardon upon conditions precedent or subsequent may apply to the court for an order to seal the person's official records in the case in which the person was convicted of the offense for which any of those types of pardons are granted. The application may be filed at any time after an absolute and entire pardon or a partial pardon is granted or at any time after all of the conditions precedent or subsequent to the pardon are met.

(B)(1) Upon the filing of an application pursuant to division (A) of this section, the court shall set a date for a hearing and shall notify the prosecutor in the case of the hearing on the application. The court shall hold the hearing not less than forty-five days and not more than ninety days from the date of the filing of the application. The prosecutor may object to the granting of the application by filing a written objection with the court not later than thirty days prior to the date set for the hearing. The prosecutor shall specify in the objection the reasons the prosecutor believes justify a denial of the application.

(2) The court shall do each of the following, except as provided in division (B)(3) of this section:

(a)(i) Determine whether the person was found not guilty in the case, or the complaint, indictment, or information in the case was dismissed, or a no bill was returned in the case and a period of two years or a longer period as required by section 2953.61 of the Revised Code has expired from the date of the report to the court of that no bill by the foreperson or deputy foreperson of the grand jury;

(ii) If the complaint, indictment, or information in the case was dismissed, determine whether it was dismissed with prejudice or without prejudice and, if it was dismissed without prejudice, determine whether the relevant statute of limitations has expired;

(b) Determine whether criminal proceedings are pending against the person;

(c) If the prosecutor has filed an objection in accordance with division (B)(1) of this section, consider the reasons against granting the application specified by the prosecutor in the objection;

(d) If the person was granted a pardon upon conditions precedent or subsequent for the offense for which the person was convicted, determine whether all of those conditions have been met;

(e) Weigh the interests of the person in having the official records pertaining to the case sealed against the legitimate needs, if any, of the government to maintain those records.

(3) If the court determines after complying with division (B)(2)(a) of this section that the person was found not guilty in the case, that the complaint, indictment, or information in the case was dismissed with prejudice, that the complaint, indictment, or information in the case was dismissed without prejudice and that the relevant statute of limitations has expired, or the individual was granted by the governor an absolute and entire pardon, a partial pardon, or a pardon upon conditions precedent or subsequent that have been met, the court shall issue an order to the superintendent of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation directing that the superintendent seal or cause to be sealed the official records in the case consisting of DNA specimens that are in the possession of the bureau and all DNA records and DNA profiles. The determinations and considerations described in divisions (B)(2)(b), (c), and (e) of this section do not apply with respect to a determination of the court described in this division.

(4) The determinations described in this division are separate from the determination described in division (B)(3) of this section. If the court determines, after complying with division (B)(2) of this section, that the person was found not guilty in the case, that the complaint, indictment, or information in the case was dismissed, the individual was granted by the governor an absolute and entire pardon, a partial pardon, or a pardon upon conditions precedent or subsequent that have been met, or that a no bill was returned in the case and that the appropriate period of time has expired from the date of the report to the court of the no bill by the foreperson or deputy foreperson of the grand jury; that no criminal proceedings are pending against the person; and the interests of the person in having the records pertaining to the case sealed are not outweighed by any legitimate governmental needs to maintain such records, or if division (E)(2)(b) of section 4301.69 of the Revised Code applies, in addition to the order required under division (B)(3) of this section, the court shall issue an order directing that all official records pertaining to the case be sealed and that, except as provided in section 2953.34 of the Revised Code, the proceedings in the case be deemed not to have occurred.

(5) Any DNA specimens, DNA records, and DNA profiles ordered to be sealed under this section shall not be sealed if the person with respect to whom the order applies is otherwise eligible to have DNA records or a DNA profile in the national DNA index system.

R.C. 2953.34 - Effect of sealing or expungement order under R.C. 2953.32 or 2953.33

(A) Inspection of the sealed records included in a sealing order may be made only by the following persons or for the following purposes:

(1) By a law enforcement officer or prosecutor, or the assistants of either, to determine whether the nature and character of the offense with which a person is to be charged would be affected by virtue of the person's previously having been convicted of a crime;

(2) By the parole or probation officer of the person who is the subject of the records, for the exclusive use of the officer in supervising the person while on parole or under a community control sanction or a post-release control sanction, and in making inquiries and written reports as requested by the court or adult parole authority;

(3) Upon application by the person who is the subject of the records, by the persons named in the application;

(4) By a law enforcement officer who was involved in the case, for use in the officer's defense of a civil action arising out of the officer's involvement in that case;

(5) By a prosecuting attorney or the prosecuting attorney's assistants, to determine a defendant's eligibility to enter a pre-trial diversion program established pursuant to section 2935.36 of the Revised Code;

(6) By any law enforcement agency or any authorized employee of a law enforcement agency or by the department of rehabilitation and correction or department of youth services as part of a background investigation of a person who applies for employment with the agency or with the department;

(7) By any law enforcement agency or any authorized employee of a law enforcement agency, for the purposes set forth in, and in the manner provided in, division (I) of section 2953.34 of the Revised Code;

(8) By the bureau of criminal identification and investigation or any authorized employee of the bureau for the purpose of providing information to a board or person pursuant to division (F) or (G) of section 109.57 of the Revised Code;

(9) By the bureau of criminal identification and investigation or any authorized employee of the bureau for the purpose of performing a criminal history records check on a person to whom a certificate as prescribed in section 109.77 of the Revised Code is to be awarded;

(10) By the bureau of criminal identification and investigation or any authorized employee of the bureau for the purpose of conducting a criminal records check of an individual pursuant to division (B) of section 109.572 of the Revised Code that was requested pursuant to any of the sections identified in division (B)(1) of that section;

(11) By the bureau of criminal identification and investigation, an authorized employee of the bureau, a sheriff, or an authorized employee of a sheriff in connection with a criminal records check described in section 311.41 of the Revised Code;

(12) By the attorney general or an authorized employee of the attorney general or a court for purposes of determining a person's classification pursuant to Chapter 2950. of the Revised Code;

(13) By a court, the registrar of motor vehicles, a prosecuting attorney or the prosecuting attorney's assistants, or a law enforcement officer for the purpose of assessing points against a person under section 4510.036 of the Revised Code or for taking action with regard to points assessed.

When the nature and character of the offense with which a person is to be charged would be affected by the information, it may be used for the purpose of charging the person with an offense.

(B) In any criminal proceeding, proof of any otherwise admissible prior conviction may be introduced and proved, notwithstanding the fact that for any such prior conviction an order of sealing or expungement previously was issued pursuant to sections 2953.31 to 2953.34 of the Revised Code.

(C) The person or governmental agency, office, or department that maintains sealed records pertaining to convictions or bail forfeitures that have been sealed pursuant to section 2953.32 of the Revised Code may maintain a manual or computerized index to the sealed records. The index shall contain only the name of, and alphanumeric identifiers that relate to, the persons who are the subject of the sealed records, the word "sealed," and the name of the person, agency, office, or department that has custody of the sealed records, and shall not contain the name of the crime committed. The index shall be made available by the person who has custody of the sealed records only for the purposes set forth in divisions (A), (B), and (D) of this section.

(D) Notwithstanding any provision of this section or section 2953.32 of the Revised Code that requires otherwise, a board of education of a city, local, exempted village, or joint vocational school district that maintains records of an individual who has been permanently excluded under sections 3301.121 and 3313.662 of the Revised Code is permitted to maintain records regarding a conviction that was used as the basis for the individual's permanent exclusion, regardless of a court order to seal or expunge the record. An order issued under this section to seal or expunge the record of a conviction does not revoke the adjudication order of the superintendent of public instruction to permanently exclude the individual who is the subject of the sealing or expungement order. An order issued under this section to seal or expunge the record of a conviction of an individual may be presented to a district superintendent as evidence to support the contention that the superintendent should recommend that the permanent exclusion of the individual who is the subject of the sealing or expungement order be revoked. Except as otherwise authorized by this division and sections 3301.121 and 3313.662 of the Revised Code, any school employee in possession of or having access to the sealed or expunged conviction records of an individual that were the basis of a permanent exclusion of the individual is subject to division (J) of this section.

(E) Notwithstanding any provision of this section or section 2953.32 of the Revised Code that requires otherwise, if the auditor of state or a prosecutor maintains records, reports, or audits of an individual who has been forever disqualified from holding public office, employment, or a position of trust in this state under sections 2921.41and 2921.43 of the Revised Code, or has otherwise been convicted of an offense based upon the records, reports, or audits of the auditor of state, the auditor of state or prosecutor is permitted to maintain those records to the extent they were used as the basis for the individual's disqualification or conviction, and shall not be compelled by court order to seal or expunge those records.

(F) For purposes of sections 2953.31 and 2953.34 of the Revised Code, DNA records collected in the DNA database and fingerprints filed for record by the superintendent of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation shall not be sealed or expunged unless the superintendent receives a certified copy of a final court order establishing that the offender's conviction has been overturned. For purposes of this section, a court order is not "final" if time remains for an appeal or application for discretionary review with respect to the order.

(G) The sealing of a record under this section does not affect the assessment of points under section 4510.036 of the Revised Code and does not erase points assessed against a person as a result of the sealed record.

(H)(1) The court shall send notice of any order to seal official records issued pursuant to division (B)(3) of section 2953.33 of the Revised Code to the bureau of criminal identification and investigation and shall send notice of any order issued pursuant to division (B)(4) of that section to any public office or agency that the court knows or has reason to believe may have any record of the case, whether or not it is an official record, that is the subject of the order.

(2) A person whose official records have been sealed pursuant to an order issued pursuant to section 2953.33 of the Revised Code may present a copy of that order and a written request to comply with it, to a public office or agency that has a record of the case that is the subject of the order.

(3) An order to seal official records issued pursuant to section 2953.33 of the Revised Code applies to every public office or agency that has a record of the case that is the subject of the order, regardless of whether it receives notice of the hearing on the application for the order to seal the official records or receives a copy of the order to seal the official records pursuant to division (H)(1) or (2) of this section.

(4) Upon receiving a copy of an order to seal official records pursuant to division (H)(1) or (2) of this section or upon otherwise becoming aware of an applicable order to seal official records issued pursuant to section 2953.33 of the Revised Code, a public office or agency shall comply with the order and, if applicable, with division (K) of this section, except that it may maintain a record of the case that is the subject of the order if the record is maintained for the purpose of compiling statistical data only and does not contain any reference to the person who is the subject of the case and the order.

(5) A public office or agency also may maintain an index of sealed official records, in a form similar to that for sealed records of conviction as set forth in division (C) of this section, access to which may not be afforded to any person other than the person who has custody of the sealed official records. The sealed official records to which such an index pertains shall not be available to any person, except that the official records of a case that have been sealed may be made available to the following persons for the following purposes:

(a) To the person who is the subject of the records upon written application, and to any other person named in the application, for any purpose;

(b) To a law enforcement officer who was involved in the case, for use in the officer's defense of a civil action arising out of the officer's involvement in that case;

(c) To a prosecuting attorney or the prosecuting attorney's assistants to determine a defendant's eligibility to enter a pre-trial diversion program established pursuant to section 2935.36 of the Revised Code;

(d) To a prosecuting attorney or the prosecuting attorney's assistants to determine a defendant's eligibility to enter a pre-trial diversion program under division (E)(2)(b) of section 4301.69 of the Revised Code.

(I)(1) Upon the issuance of an order by a court pursuant to division (D)(2) of section 2953.32 of the Revised Code directing that all official records of a case pertaining to a conviction or bail forfeiture be sealed or expunged or an order by a court pursuant to division (E) of section 2151.358, division (C)(2) of section 2953.35, or division (E) of section 2953.36 of the Revised Code directing that all official records of a case pertaining to a conviction or delinquent child adjudication be expunged:

(a) Every law enforcement officer who possesses investigatory work product immediately shall deliver that work product to the law enforcement officer's employing law enforcement agency.

(b) Except as provided in divisions (I)(1)(c) and (d) of this section, every law enforcement agency that possesses investigatory work product shall close that work product to all persons who are not directly employed by the law enforcement agency and shall treat that work product, in relation to all persons other than those who are directly employed by the law enforcement agency, as if it did not exist and never had existed.

(c) A law enforcement agency that possesses investigatory work product may permit another law enforcement agency to use that work product in the investigation of another offense if the facts incident to the offense being investigated by the other law enforcement agency and the facts incident to an offense that is the subject of the case are reasonably similar. The agency that permits the use of investigatory work product may provide the other agency with the name of the person who is the subject of the case if it believes that the name of the person is necessary to the conduct of the investigation by the other agency.

(d) The auditor of state may provide to or discuss with other parties investigatory work product maintained pursuant to Chapter 117. of the Revised Code by the auditor of state.

(2)(a) Except as provided in divisions (I)(1)(c) and (d) of this section, no law enforcement officer or other person employed by a law enforcement agency shall knowingly release, disseminate, or otherwise make the investigatory work product or any information contained in that work product available to, or discuss any information contained in it with, any person not employed by the employing law enforcement agency.

(b) No law enforcement agency, or person employed by a law enforcement agency, that receives investigatory work product pursuant to divisions (I)(1)(c) and (d) of this section shall use that work product for any purpose other than the investigation of the offense for which it was obtained from the other law enforcement agency, or disclose the name of the person who is the subject of the work product except when necessary for the conduct of the investigation of the offense, or the prosecution of the person for committing the offense, for which it was obtained from the other law enforcement agency.

(3) Whoever violates division (I)(2)(a) or (b) of this section is guilty of divulging confidential investigatory work product, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

(J)(1) Except as authorized by divisions (A) to (C) of this section or by Chapter 2950. of the Revised Code and subject to division (J)(2) of this section, any officer or employee of the state, or a political subdivision of the state, who releases or otherwise disseminates or makes available for any purpose involving employment, bonding, or licensing in connection with any business, trade, or profession to any person, or to any department, agency, or other instrumentality of the state, or any political subdivision of the state, any information or other data concerning any law enforcement or justice system matter the records with respect to which the officer or employee had knowledge of were sealed by an existing order issued pursuant to section 2953.32 of the Revised Code, division (E) of section 2151.358, section 2953.35, or section 2953.36 of the Revised Code, or were expunged by an order issued pursuant to section 2953.42 of the Revised Code as it existed prior to June 29, 1988, is guilty of divulging confidential information, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

(2) Division (J)(1) of this section does not apply to an officer or employee of the state, or a political subdivision of the state, who releases or otherwise disseminates or makes available for any purpose specified in that division any information or other data concerning a law enforcement or justice system matter the records of which the officer had knowledge were sealed or expunged by an order of a type described in that division, if all of the following apply:

(a) The officer or employee released, disseminated, or made available the information or data from the sealed or expunged records together with information or data concerning another law enforcement or justice system matter.

(b) The records of the other law enforcement or justice system matter were not sealed or expunged by any order of a type described in division (J)(1) of this section.

(c) The law enforcement or justice system matter covered by the information or data from the sealed or expunged records and the other law enforcement or justice system matter covered by the information or data from the records that were not sealed or expunged resulted from or were connected to the same act.

(d) The officer or employee made a good faith effort to not release, disseminate, or make available any information or other data concerning any law enforcement or justice system matter from the sealed or expunged records, and the officer or employee did not release, disseminate, or make available the information or other data from the sealed or expunged records with malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner.

(3) Any person who, in violation of this section, uses, disseminates, or otherwise makes available any index prepared pursuant to division (C) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

(K)(1) Except as otherwise provided in Chapter 2950. of the Revised Code, upon the issuance of an order by a court under division (B) of section 2953.33 of the Revised Code directing that all official records pertaining to a case be sealed and that the proceedings in the case be deemed not to have occurred:

(a) Every law enforcement officer possessing records or reports pertaining to the case that are the officer's specific investigatory work product and that are excepted from the definition of official records shall immediately deliver the records and reports to the officer's employing law enforcement agency. Except as provided in division (K)(1)(c) or (d) of this section, no such officer shall knowingly release, disseminate, or otherwise make the records and reports or any information contained in them available to, or discuss any information contained in them with, any person not employed by the officer's employing law enforcement agency.

(b) Every law enforcement agency that possesses records or reports pertaining to the case that are its specific investigatory work product and that are excepted from the definition of official records, or that are the specific investigatory work product of a law enforcement officer it employs and that were delivered to it under division (K)(1)(a) of this section shall, except as provided in division (K)(1)(c) or (d) of this section, close the records and reports to all persons who are not directly employed by the law enforcement agency and shall, except as provided in division (K)(1)(c) or (d) of this section, treat the records and reports, in relation to all persons other than those who are directly employed by the law enforcement agency, as if they did not exist and had never existed. Except as provided in division (K)(1)(c) or (d) of this section, no person who is employed by the law enforcement agency shall knowingly release, disseminate, or otherwise make the records and reports in the possession of the employing law enforcement agency or any information contained in them available to, or discuss any information contained in them with, any person not employed by the employing law enforcement agency.

(c) A law enforcement agency that possesses records or reports pertaining to the case that are its specific investigatory work product and that are excepted from the definition of official records, or that are the specific investigatory work product of a law enforcement officer it employs and that were delivered to it under division (K)(1)(a) of this section may permit another law enforcement agency to use the records or reports in the investigation of another offense, if the facts incident to the offense being investigated by the other law enforcement agency and the facts incident to an offense that is the subject of the case are reasonably similar. The agency that provides the records and reports may provide the other agency with the name of the person who is the subject of the case, if it believes that the name of the person is necessary to the conduct of the investigation by the other agency.

No law enforcement agency, or person employed by a law enforcement agency, that receives from another law enforcement agency records or reports pertaining to a case the records of which have been ordered sealed pursuant to division (B) of section 2953.33 of the Revised Code shall use the records and reports for any purpose other than the investigation of the offense for which they were obtained from the other law enforcement agency, or disclose the name of the person who is the subject of the records or reports except when necessary for the conduct of the investigation of the offense, or the prosecution of the person for committing the offense, for which they were obtained from the other law enforcement agency.

(d) The auditor of state may provide to or discuss with other parties records, reports, or audits maintained by the auditor of state pursuant to Chapter 117. of the Revised Code pertaining to the case that are the auditor of state's specific investigatory work product and that are excepted from the definition of "official records" contained in division (C) of section 2953.31 of the Revised Code, or that are the specific investigatory work product of a law enforcement officer the auditor of state employs and that were delivered to the auditor of state under division (K)(1)(a) of this section.

(2) Whoever violates division (K)(1) of this section is guilty of divulging confidential information, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

(L)(1) In any application for employment, license, or any other right or privilege, any appearance as a witness, or any other inquiry, a person may not be questioned with respect to any record that has been sealed pursuant to section 2953.33 of the Revised Code. If an inquiry is made in violation of this division, the person whose official record was sealed may respond as if the arrest underlying the case to which the sealed official records pertain and all other proceedings in that case did not occur, and the person whose official record was sealed shall not be subject to any adverse action because of the arrest, the proceedings, or the person's response.

(2) An officer or employee of the state or any of its political subdivisions who knowingly releases, disseminates, or makes available for any purpose involving employment, bonding, licensing, or education to any person or to any department, agency, or other instrumentality of the state, or of any of its political subdivisions, any information or other data concerning any arrest, complaint, indictment, information, trial, adjudication, or correctional supervision, knowing the records of which have been sealed pursuant to section 2953.33 of the Revised Code, is guilty of divulging confidential information, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

(M) It is not a violation of division (I), (J), (K), or (L) of this section for the bureau of criminal identification and investigation or any authorized employee of the bureau participating in the investigation of criminal activity to release, disseminate, or otherwise make available to, or discuss with, a person directly employed by a law enforcement agency DNA records collected in the DNA database or fingerprints filed for record by the superintendent of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation.

(N)(1) An order issued under section 2953.35 of the Revised Code to expunge the record of a person's conviction or, except as provided in division (D) of this section, an order issued under that section to seal the record of a person's conviction restores the person who is the subject of the order to all rights and privileges not otherwise restored by termination of the sentence or community control sanction or by final release on parole or post-release control.

(2)(a) In any application for employment, license, or other right or privilege, any appearance as a witness, or any other inquiry, except as provided in division (B) of this section and in section 3319.292 of the Revised Code and subject to division (N)(2)(c) of this section, a person may be questioned only with respect to convictions not sealed, bail forfeitures not expunged under section 2953.42 of the Revised Code as it existed prior to June 29, 1988, and bail forfeitures not sealed, unless the question bears a direct and substantial relationship to the position for which the person is being considered.

(b) In any application for a certificate of qualification for employment under section 2953.25 of the Revised Code, a person may be questioned only with respect to convictions not sealed and bail forfeitures not sealed.

(c) A person may not be questioned in any application, appearance, or inquiry of a type described in division (N)(2)(a) of this section with respect to any conviction expunged under section 2953.35 of the Revised Code.

(O) Nothing in section 2953.32 or 2953.34 of the Revised Code precludes an offender from taking an appeal or seeking any relief from the offender's conviction or from relying on it in lieu of any subsequent prosecution for the same offense.

R.C. 2953.35 - [Former R.C. 2953.37, amended and renumbered by S.B. 288, 134th General Assembly, effective 4/4/2023] Expungement of certain convictions relating to firearms.

(A) Any person who is convicted of, was convicted of, pleads guilty to, or has pleaded guilty to a violation of division (B), (C), or (E) of section 2923.16 of the Revised Code as the division existed prior to September 30, 2011, or a violation of division (E)(1) or (2) of section 2923.16 of the Revised Code as the division existed prior to June 13, 2022, and who is authorized by division (H)(2)(a) of that section to file an application under this section for the expungement of the conviction record may apply to the sentencing court for the expungement of the record of conviction. Any person who is convicted of, was convicted of, pleads guilty to, or has pleaded guilty to a violation of division (B)(1) of section 2923.12 of the Revised Code as it existed prior to June 13, 2022, and who is authorized by division (E)(2) of that section may apply to the sentencing court for the expungement of the record of conviction. The person may file the application at any time on or after September 30, 2011, with respect to violations of division (B), (C), or (E) of section 2923.16 of the Revised Code as they existed prior to that date, or at any time on or after June 13, 2022, with respect to a violation of division (B)(1) of section 2923.12 of the Revised Code or of division (E)(1) or (2) of section 2923.16 of the Revised Code as the particular division existed prior to June 13, 2022. The application shall do all of the following:

(1) Identify the applicant, the offense for which the expungement is sought, the date of the conviction of or plea of guilty to that offense, and the court in which the conviction occurred or the plea of guilty was entered;

(2) Include evidence that the offense was a violation of division (B), (C), or (E) of section 2923.16 of the Revised Code as the division existed prior to September 30, 2011, or was a violation of division (B)(1) of section 2923.12 of the Revised Code or of division (E)(1) or (2) of section 2923.16 of the Revised Code as the particular division existed prior to June 13, 2022, and that the applicant is authorized by division (H)(2)(a) of section 2923.16 or division (E)(2) of section 2923.12 of the Revised Code, whichever is applicable, to file an application under this section;

(3) Include a request for expungement of the record of conviction of that offense under this section.

(B) Upon the filing of an application under division (A) of this section and the payment of the fee described in division (C)(3) of this section if applicable, the court shall set a date for a hearing and shall notify the prosecutor for the case of the hearing on the application. The prosecutor may object to the granting of the application by filing an objection with the court prior to the date set for the hearing. The prosecutor shall specify in the objection the reasons for believing a denial of the application is justified. The court shall direct its regular probation officer, a state probation officer, or the department of probation of the county in which the applicant resides to make inquiries and written reports as the court requires concerning the applicant. The court shall hold the hearing scheduled under this division.

(C)(1) At the hearing held under division (B) of this section, the court shall do each of the following:

(a) Determine whether the applicant has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of division (E) of section 2923.16 of the Revised Code as the division existed prior to September 30, 2011, and whether the conduct that was the basis of the violation no longer would be a violation of that division on or after September 30, 2011;

(b) Determine whether the applicant has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of division (B) or (C) of section 2923.16 of the Revised Code as the division existed prior to September 30, 2011, and whether the conduct that was the basis of the violation no longer would be a violation of that division on or after September 30, 2011, due to the application of division (F)(5) of that section as it exists on and after September 30, 2011;

(c) Determine whether the applicant has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of division (B)(1) of section 2923.12 of the Revised Code or of division (E)(1) or (2) of section 2923.16 of the Revised Code as the particular division existed prior to June 13, 2022;

(d) If the prosecutor has filed an objection in accordance with division (B) of this section, consider the reasons against granting the application specified by the prosecutor in the objection;

(e) Weigh the interests of the applicant in having the records pertaining to the applicant's conviction or guilty plea expunged against the legitimate needs, if any, of the government to maintain those records.

(2)(a) The court may order the expungement of all official records pertaining to the case and the deletion of all index references to the case and, if it does order the expungement, shall send notice of the order to each public office or agency that the court has reason to believe may have an official record pertaining to the case if the court, after complying with division (C)(1) of this section, determines both of the following:

(i) That the applicant has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of division (E) of section 2923.16 of the Revised Code as it existed prior to September 30, 2011, and the conduct that was the basis of the violation no longer would be a violation of that division on or after September 30, 2011; that the applicant has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of division (B) or (C) of section 2923.16 of the Revised Code as the division existed prior to September 30, 2011, and the conduct that was the basis of the violation no longer would be a violation of that division on or after September 30, 2011, due to the application of division (F)(5) of that section as it exists on and after September 30, 2011; or that the applicant has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of division (B)(1) of section 2923.12 of the Revised Code or of division (E)(1) or (2) of section 2923.16 of the Revised Code as the particular division existed prior to June 13, 2022;

(ii) That the interests of the applicant in having the records pertaining to the applicant's conviction or guilty plea expunged are not outweighed by any legitimate needs of the government to maintain those records.

(b) The proceedings in the case that is the subject of an order issued under division (C)(2)(a) of this section shall be considered not to have occurred and the conviction or guilty plea of the person who is the subject of the proceedings shall be expunged. The record of the conviction shall not be used for any purpose, including, but not limited to, a criminal records check under section 109.572 of the Revised Code or a determination under section 2923.125 or 2923.1213 of the Revised Code of eligibility for a concealed handgun license. The applicant may, and the court shall, reply that no record exists with respect to the applicant upon any inquiry into the matter.

(3) Upon the filing of an application under this section, the applicant, unless indigent, shall pay a fee of fifty dollars. The court shall pay thirty dollars of the fee into the state treasury and shall pay twenty dollars of the fee into the county general revenue fund.

[R.C. 2953.36 - [Former R.C. 2953.38, amended and renumbered by S.B. 288, 134th General Assembly, effective 4/4/2023] Expungement of certain convictions for victims of human trafficking.

(A) Any person who is or was convicted of a violation of section 2907.24, 2907.241, or 2907.25 of the Revised Code may apply to the sentencing court for the expungement of the record of conviction of any offense, other than a record of conviction of a violation of section 2903.01, 2903.02, or 2907.02 of the Revised Code, the person's participation in which was a result of the person having been a victim of human trafficking. The person may file the application at any time. The application may request an order to expunge the record of conviction for more than one offense, but if it does, the court shall consider the request for each offense separately as if a separate application had been made for each offense and all references in divisions (A) to (G) of this section to "the offense" or "that offense" mean each of those offenses that are the subject of the application. The application shall do all of the following:

(1) Identify the applicant, the offense for which the expungement is sought, the date of the conviction of that offense, and the court in which the conviction occurred;

(2) Describe the evidence and provide copies of any documentation showing that the person is entitled to relief under this section;

(3) Include a request for expungement of the record of conviction of that offense under this section.

(B) The court may deny an application made under division (A) of this section if it finds that the application fails to assert grounds on which relief may be granted.

(C) If the court does not deny an application under division (B) of this section, it shall set a date for a hearing and shall notify the prosecutor for the case from which the record of conviction resulted of the hearing on the application. The prosecutor may object to the granting of the application by filing an objection with the court prior to the date set for the hearing. The prosecutor shall specify in the objection the reasons for believing a denial of the application is justified. The court may direct its regular probation officer, a state probation officer, or the department of probation of the county in which the applicant resides to make inquiries and written reports as the court requires concerning the applicant.

(D)(1) At the hearing held under division (C) of this section, the court shall do both of the following:

(a) If the prosecutor has filed an objection, consider the reasons against granting the application specified by the prosecutor in the objection;

(b) Determine whether the applicant has demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that the applicant's participation in the offense that is the subject of the application was a result of the applicant having been a victim of human trafficking.

(2) If the court at the hearing held under division (C) of this section determines that the applicant's participation in the offense that is the subject of the application was a result of the applicant having been a victim of human trafficking and if that subject offense is a felony of the first or second degree, the court at the hearing also shall consider all of the following factors and, upon consideration of the factors, shall determine whether the interests of the applicant in having the record of the conviction of that offense expunged are outweighed by any legitimate needs of the government to maintain that record of conviction:

(a) The degree of duress under which the applicant acted in committing the subject offense, including, but not limited to, the history of the use of force or threatened use of force against the applicant or another person, whether the applicant's judgment or control was impaired by the administration to the applicant of any intoxicant, drug, or controlled substance, and the threat of withholding from the applicant food, water, or any drug;

(b) The seriousness of the subject offense;

(c) The relative degree of physical harm done to any person in the commission of the subject offense;

(d) The length of time that has expired since the commission of the subject offense;

(e) Whether the prosecutor represents to the court that criminal proceedings are likely to still be initiated against the applicant for a felony offense for which the period of limitations has not expired;

(f) Whether the applicant at the time of the hearing is subject to supervision as a result of the subject offense.

(E) If after a hearing held under division (C) of this section the court finds that the applicant has demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that the applicant's participation in the offense that is the subject of the application was the result of the applicant having been a victim of human trafficking, and, if the offense that is the subject of the application is a felony of the first or second degree, after consideration of the factors required under division (D)(2) of this section, it finds that the interests of the applicant in having the record of the conviction of that offense expunged are not outweighed by any legitimate needs of the government to maintain that record of conviction, the court shall grant the application and order that the record of conviction be expunged.

(F)(1) The court shall send notice of the order of expungement issued under division (E) of this section to each public office or agency that the court has reason to believe may have an official record pertaining to the case if the court, after complying with division (D) of this section, determines both of the following:

(a) That the applicant has been convicted of a violation of section 2907.24, 2907.241, or 2907.25 of the Revised Code;

(b) That the interests of the applicant in having the records pertaining to the applicant's conviction expunged are not outweighed by any legitimate needs of the government to maintain those records.

(2) The proceedings in the case that is the subject of an order of expungement issued under division (E) of this section shall be considered not to have occurred and the conviction of the person who is the subject of the proceedings shall be expunged. The record of the conviction shall not be used for any purpose, including, but not limited to, a criminal records check under section 109.572 of the Revised Code. The applicant may, and the court shall, reply that no record exists with respect to the applicant upon any inquiry into the matter.

(G) Upon the filing of an application under this section, the applicant, unless indigent, shall pay a fee of fifty dollars. The court shall pay thirty dollars of the fee into the state treasury and shall pay twenty dollars of the fee into the county general revenue fund.

R.C. 2953.521 - Expungement of record of not guilty finding or dismissed charges when defendant victim of human trafficking.

(A) Any person who is found not guilty of an offense by a jury or a court or who is the defendant named in a dismissed complaint, indictment, or information may apply to the court for an order to expunge the person's official records in the case if the complaint, indictment, information, or finding of not guilty that is the subject of the application was the result of the applicant having been a victim of human trafficking. The application may be filed at any time after the finding of not guilty or the dismissal of the complaint, indictment, or information is entered upon the minutes of the court or the journal, whichever entry occurs first. The application may request an order to expunge official records for more than one offense, but if it does, the court shall consider the request for each offense separately as if a separate application had been made for each offense and all references in divisions (A) to (G) of this section to "the offense" or "that offense" mean each of those offenses that are the subject of the application.

(B) The court may deny an application made under division (A) of this section if it finds that the application fails to assert grounds on which relief may be granted.

(C) If the court does not deny an application under division (B) of this section, the court shall set a date for a hearing and shall notify the prosecutor for the case of the hearing on the application. The prosecutor may object to the granting of the application by filing an objection with the court prior to the date set for the hearing. The prosecutor shall specify in the objection the reasons for believing a denial of the application is justified.

(D) At the hearing held under division (C) of this section, the court shall do all of the following:

(1) If the prosecutor has filed an objection, consider the reasons against granting the application specified by the prosecutor in the objection;

(2) Determine whether the applicant has demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that the complaint, indictment, information, or finding of not guilty that is the subject of the application was the result of the applicant having been a victim of human trafficking;

(3) If the application pertains to a dismissed complaint, indictment, or information, determine whether the dismissal was with prejudice or without prejudice and, if the dismissal was without prejudice, whether the period of limitations applicable to the offense that was the subject of that complaint, indictment, or information has expired;

(4) Determine whether any criminal proceedings are pending against the applicant.

(E)(1) Subject to division (E)(2) of this section, if the court finds that the applicant has demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that the complaint, indictment, information, or finding of not guilty that is the subject of the application was the result of the applicant having been a victim of human trafficking, the court shall grant the application and order that the official records be expunged.

(2) The court shall not grant the application and order that the official records be expunged unless the court determines that the interests of the applicant in having the official records pertaining to the complaint, indictment, or information or finding of not guilty that is the subject of the application expunged are not outweighed by any legitimate needs of the government to maintain those records.

(F) If an expungement is ordered under division (E) of this section, the court shall send notice of the order of expungement to each public office or agency that the court has reason to believe may have an official record pertaining to the case.

(G) The proceedings in the case that is the subject of an order issued under division (E) of this section shall be considered not to have occurred and the official records shall be expunged. The official records shall not be used for any purpose, including a criminal records check under section 109.572 of the Revised Code. The applicant may, and the court shall, reply that no record exists with respect to the applicant upon any inquiry into the matter.

R.C. 2953.58 - Effect of sealing order under R.C. 2953.57.

(A) The court shall send notice of an order to seal official records issued pursuant to section 2953.57 of the Revised Code to any public office or agency that the court knows or has reason to believe may have any record of the case, whether or not it is an official record, that is the subject of the order. The notice shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested.

(B) A person whose official records have been sealed pursuant to an order issued pursuant to section 2953.57 of the Revised Code may present a copy of that order and a written request to comply with it, to a public office or agency that has a record of the case that is the subject of the order.

(C) An order to seal official records issued pursuant to section 2953.57 of the Revised Code applies to every public office or agency that has a record of the case that is the subject of the order, regardless of whether it receives a copy of the order to seal the official records pursuant to division (A) or (B) of this section.

(D) Upon receiving a copy of an order to seal official records pursuant to division (A) or (B) of this section or upon otherwise becoming aware of an applicable order to seal official records issued pursuant to section 2953.57 of the Revised Code, a public office or agency shall comply with the order and, if applicable, with the provisions of section 2953.59 of the Revised Code, except that it may maintain a record of the case that is the subject of the order if the record is maintained for the purpose of compiling statistical data only and does not contain any reference to the person who is the subject of the case and the order.

A public office or agency also may maintain an index of sealed official records, in a form similar to that for sealed records of conviction as set forth in division (C) of section 2953.34 of the Revised Code, access to which may not be afforded to any person other than the person who has custody of the sealed official records. The sealed official records to which such an index pertains shall not be available to any person, except that the official records of a case that have been sealed may be made available to the following persons for the following purposes:

(1) To the person who is the subject of the records upon written application, and to any other person named in the application, for any purpose;

(2) To a law enforcement officer who was involved in the case, for use in the officer's defense of a civil action arising out of the officer's involvement in that case.

R.C. 2953.59 - Law enforcement investigatory work product - sealing order under 
R.C. 2953.57

(A) Except as otherwise provided in Chapter 2950. of the Revised Code, upon the issuance of an order by a court under section 2953.57 of the Revised Code directing that all official records pertaining to a case be sealed and that the proceedings in the case be deemed not to have occurred:

(1) Every law enforcement officer possessing records or reports pertaining to the case that are the officer's specific investigatory work product and that are excepted from the definition of "official records" contained in section 2953.31 of the Revised Code shall immediately deliver the records and reports to the officer's employing law enforcement agency. Except as provided in division (A)(3) of this section, no such officer shall knowingly release, disseminate, or otherwise make the records and reports or any information contained in them available to, or discuss any information contained in them with, any person not employed by the officer's employing law enforcement agency.

(2) Every law enforcement agency that possesses records or reports pertaining to the case that are its specific investigatory work product and that are excepted from the definition of "official records" contained in section 2953.31 of the Revised Code, or that are the specific investigatory work product of a law enforcement officer it employs and that were delivered to it under division (A)(1) of this section shall, except as provided in division (A)(3) of this section, close the records and reports to all persons who are not directly employed by the law enforcement agency and shall, except as provided in division (A)(3) of this section, treat the records and reports, in relation to all persons other than those who are directly employed by the law enforcement agency, as if they did not exist and had never existed. Except as provided in division (A)(3) of this section, no person who is employed by the law enforcement agency shall knowingly release, disseminate, or otherwise make the records and reports in the possession of the employing law enforcement agency or any information contained in them available to, or discuss any information contained in them with, any person not employed by the employing law enforcement agency.

(3) A law enforcement agency that possesses records or reports pertaining to the case that are its specific investigatory work product and that are excepted from the definition of "official records" contained in division (C) of section 2953.31 of the Revised Code, or that are the specific investigatory work product of a law enforcement officer it employs and that were delivered to it under division (A)(1) of this section may permit another law enforcement agency to use the records or reports in the investigation of another offense, if the facts incident to the offense being investigated by the other law enforcement agency and the facts incident to an offense that is the subject of the case are reasonably similar and if all references to the name or identifying information of the person whose records were sealed are redacted from the records or reports. The agency that provides the records and reports may not provide the other agency with the name of the person who is the subject of the case the records of which were sealed.

(B) Whoever violates division (A)(1), (2), or (3) of this section is guilty of divulging confidential information, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

R.C. 2953.60 - Questioning regarding, or release of, records sealed under R.C. 2953.57

(A) In any application for employment, license, or any other right or privilege, any appearance as a witness, or any other inquiry, a person may not be questioned with respect to any record that has been sealed pursuant to section 2953.57 of the Revised Code. If an inquiry is made in violation of this section, the person whose official record was sealed may respond as if the arrest underlying the case to which the sealed official records pertain and all other proceedings in that case did not occur, and the person whose official record was sealed shall not be subject to any adverse action because of the arrest, the proceedings, or the person's response.

(B) An officer or employee of the state or any of its political subdivisions who knowingly releases, disseminates, or makes available for any purpose involving employment, bonding, licensing, or education to any person or to any department, agency, or other instrumentality of the state, or of any of its political subdivisions, any information or other data concerning any arrest, complaint, indictment, information, trial, adjudication, or correctional supervision, the records of which have been sealed pursuant to section 2953.57 of the Revised Code, is guilty of divulging confidential information, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

R.C. 2953.61 - Multiple charges; sealing or expungement of records

(A) Except as provided in division (B)(1) of this section, a person charged with two or more offenses as a result of or in connection with the same act may not apply to the court pursuant to section 2953.32, 2953.33, or 2953.521 of the Revised Code for the sealing or expungement of the person's record in relation to any of the charges, and a prosecutor may not apply to the court pursuant to section 2953.39 of the Revised Code for the sealing or expungement of the record of a person in relation to any of the charges if the person was charged with two or more offenses as a result of or in connection with the same act, when at least one of the charges has a final disposition that is different from the final disposition of the other charges until such time as the person, or prosecutor, would be able to apply to the court and have all of the records pertaining to all of those charges sealed or expunged pursuant to section 2953.32, 2953.33, 2953.39, or 2953.521 of the Revised Code.

(B)(1) When a person is charged with two or more offenses as a result of or in connection with the same act and the final disposition of one, and only one, of the charges is a conviction under any section of Chapter 4507., 4510., 4511., or 4549., other than section 4511.19 or 4511.194 of the Revised Code, or under a municipal ordinance that is substantially similar to any section other than section 4511.19 or 4511.194 of the Revised Code contained in any of those chapters, and if the records pertaining to all the other charges would be eligible for sealing or expungement under section 2953.33, 2953.39, or 2953.521 of the Revised Code in the absence of that conviction, the court may order that the records pertaining to all the charges be sealed or expunged. In such a case, the court shall not order that only a portion of the records be sealed or expunged.

(2) Division (B)(1) of this section does not apply if the person convicted of the offenses currently holds a commercial driver's license or commercial driver's license temporary instruction permit.

Fogt Law Can Help

After a criminal record has been sealed or expunged, Fogt Law Office assists clients by contacting a multitude of private companies and organizations to demand that all information regarding the conviction be destroyed. This is vitally important because many websites continue to retain and display such information even after a record has been officially sealed. Most firms do not provide this service, which is essential to ensure that the public does not have access to the information.

Attorney Fogt practices in Federal Court and all over the State of Ohio including, but not limited to Montgomery County, Greene County, Miami County, Warren County, Hamilton County, Clark County, Franklin County. Attorney Fogt also practices in Kettering, Miamisburg, Dayton, Xenia, Fairborn, Springboro, Clark, and Lebanon Municipal Courts as well as others. We have handled hundreds of misdemeanor and felony cases including those with multiple first degree felonies. We can help you!

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