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Sealing Criminal Record

Record Sealing

Having a criminal record can cause many hardships. Background checks can make it difficult for people with a criminal history to apply for jobs, access credit, secure housing, and further their education. Moving on from prior legal trouble can pose a serious challenge. However, if a criminal record is successfully sealed, it will not appear on court dockets or background checks and will essentially be treated as if it never occurred. Record sealing is a powerful tool that can be used to improve the lives of those who have dealt with the criminal justice system.

What Charges Cannot Be Sealed?

  • First and second-degree felonies.
  • Any felony involving mandatory prison time.
  • OVI and other traffic violations.
  • Most sex crimes and offenses of violence.
  • Most crimes involving a minor victim.

Who is Eligible?

Effective April 12, 2021, anyone is eligible to file to seal a criminal record as long have a criminal record with no felonies of the first, second, or third-degree or in the alternative, no more than two felonies and no more than four misdemeanors. These number of convictions can vary depending on whether they were connected to the same act or occurred at the same time. 

When Can I File?

A criminal record cannot be sealed until the entire sentence has been served. In addition, all fines and restitution have to be paid in full. Thereafter, misdemeanors, fifth-degree felonies, and fourth-degree felonies can be sealed after 1 year and third-degree felonies can be sealed after 3 years.

What If I Was Not Convicted?

Unfortunately, past criminal accusations can still have negative consequences even if you were not convicted. For example, potential employers can access docket information regarding prior charges regardless of whether it resulted in conviction. This can lead to wrongful assumptions and often costs valuable opportunities. You can still have your record sealed. If you were charged with a crime, it is important to contact Fogt Law Office to have your record sealed.

Sealing Your Record

To request for a criminal record to be sealed, an application must be filed in the court where you were convicted. After the application is filed, a hearing is scheduled and a legal argument must be presented as to why the record should be sealed. It is important to hire an experienced attorney to assist you with the process because a judge will rule on whether the record is to be sealed Attorney Christopher Fogt has an extensive and successful track record of sealing criminal records. Once a criminal record has been sealed, background checks and court records will no longer provide any information about the conviction.

After a criminal record has been sealed, 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.

What Happens at Hearing?

After an application is filed, a hearing is scheduled for a judge to make a ruling. When determining whether someone has been sufficiently rehabilitated, courts review criminal records and often consult with the probation department. Prosecutors have legal standing to object to record sealings and can present arguments as to why the charges should remain public record. At the hearings, courts weigh the public's interest in having access to the information against an individual's need for the information to be made confidential. 

Can Juvenile Records Be Sealed?

Yes, juvenile criminal records can be sealed. Many people make mistakes when they are young, but those decisions should not haunt them for the rest of their lives. Individuals with juvenile criminal records can potentially lose valuable opportunities unless they apply to have their records sealed. Contact Attorney Christopher Fogt to discuss filing to seal your juvenile record to protect your future. 

RECORD SEALING FILING DATE TABLE

Convictions

Eligible to File After Expiration of Sentence and Payment of Fines and Restitution

3rd Degree Felony

3 years

4th and 5th Degree Felony

1 year

Misdemeanors

1 year

 

Fogt Law Can Help

After a criminal record has been sealed, 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!

Awards

Fogt Law Office is a BBB Accredited Lawyer in Dayton, OH

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