Try for a Fresh Start with an Expungement or a Motion to Seal the Records
We help eligible people bury the mistakes of their youth in the graveyard of the forgotten past
If you have a criminal record, you face a lifetime of consequences that can be hard to overcome, even when you’ve paid your debt to society. At The Law Offices of Christopher Scott Maher, LLC, we are here to help eligible people in the Cleveland area and throughout Ohio lessen the negative repercussions of having a criminal record by guiding them through the expungement (or expunction) process. In this process, your record may be sealed or in some cases completely erased, making it more likely you will be able to pass a background check when you apply for a job, sign a lease or seek a loan. We are dedicated advocates with the skills to assist clients interested in building a future free of the stigma that comes with having been arrested for or convicted of a crime. We have a thorough understanding of Ohio criminal laws and the inner workings of local, state and federal area courts, and we draw upon that knowledge to help you move forward.
What does expunging a record do?
A criminal conviction is erased or sealed when a record is expunged. If you were convicted of a crime but have since had your record expunged, your record will no longer be available to the public, though it may still be accessed by law enforcement. You are allowed to say you were not arrested, charged or accused of committing a crime when asked if you have a criminal record. That said, you should speak to a lawyer if your record was expunged and you are considering applying for a professional license or running for office. Some rules still require you to disclose such information.
What charges are eligible for expungement?
Not every crime can be expunged from a criminal record. While the laws vary from state to state, some jurisdictions may allow expungement only for arrests and misdemeanor convictions. Others will allow expungement for certain felonies, though not for violent crimes such as murder or rape. And even when it is possible to expunge or seal a record, qualifying for this relief can be difficult and complex.
Factors that might affect your ability to have your record expunged include the following:
- The charge was minor and your first and only offense.
- The charges against you have been dismissed.
- You were acquitted, or found not guilty.
- You were a juvenile at the time.
Minor drug convictions, such as marijuana possession, may also be easier to expunge, especially if the offender was a juvenile. A defense attorney who is familiar with the laws of your state can let you know if your specific charge is eligible for expunction.
Call us at 216-650-3676 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.