Ohio Expungement Law: What’s changing and what’s staying the same

Ohio’s new Felony expungement rules go into effect on October 29th of 2018. Here’s a look at what’s changing.



Before October 29: Eligible offenders are those who have been convicted of an offense in the state and who have “not more than one (1) felony conviction, not more than two (2) misdemeanor convictions, OR not more than one (1) felony conviction and one (1) misdemeanor conviction in this state or any other jurisdiction.” (Hamilton County Clerk of Courts)

After October 29: Eligible offenders are those with non-violent, non-sexual felonies of the 4th & 5th degree and/or you may have up to five 4th and/or 5th degree Felonies and/or unlimited misdemeanors.


Waiting Periods:

Before October 29th:

  • Misdemeanor – One (1) year after the completion of the sentence.
  • Felony – Three (3) years after the completion of a sentence.
  • Ignored case – Two (2) years after Grand Jury report ignoring case.
  • Dismissal or Acquittal – No waiting period.

After October 29th:

  • Misdemeanor convictions require a one year waiting period.
  • One Felony 4 or Felony 5 conviction requires a three year waiting period.
  • Two Felony 4 or Felony 5 convictions require a four year waiting period.
  • Three to Five Felony 4 or Felony 5 convictions require a five year waiting period.

Waiting periods begin after the completion of the prison, jail and/or community control sentence.



For Hamilton County, the cost for sealing a criminal record will remain the same under the new law. Some counties are charging per Felony or per case, but Hamilton County charges a flat $50.00 fee for each application. (source: Hamilton County Public Defender’s Office) If you cannot afford the $50.00 fee, you can apply to have the Court waive the fee with an Application of Indigency (found here).


If you need further assistance, the Hamilton County Public Defender’s Office runs a Fresh Start Expungement Clinic. More information can be found here and here.

Sources: Summit County Clerk, Hamilton County Clerk, Hamilton County Public Defender's Office