|Because you were
charged with an offense as a juvenile, Ohio law allows you to
have your juvenile record sealed or expunged. The following is
an explanation of the process that you must follow to seal or
expunge your record.
- If your offense was
aggravated murder, murder, rape, sexual battery, or gross
sexual imposition, your record cannot be sealed.
- For other delinquency,
unruly and juvenile traffic offenses, you may apply for an
order to seal your record if two years have passed after any
order made by the Court has ended. This includes orders such
as fines, court costs, restitution, probation, community
service, no contact orders etc. If you have been placed in a
juvenile institution or other facility, you may not apply
until two years after you have received an unconditional
discharge from such institution or facility.
- Applying to seal your record
doesn't automatically mean that it will be sealed. The
Juvenile Court must find that you have been rehabilitated to
a satisfactory degree. The Court will consider your age, the
nature of the case, the cessation or continuation of
delinquent, unruly, or criminal behavior, your education and
employment history and any other circumstances that may
relate to your rehabilitation. The Court will notify the
prosecutor of your application, and may schedule a hearing.
You should bring any witnesses or evidence to the hearing
that may assist the Court in making its determination.
- “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.
- After your record has been
sealed, your record will automatically be expunged after a
period of 5 years or when you reach age 23, whichever occurs
sooner. You may apply to the Juvenile Court to have your
sealed record expunged sooner. If you are already 23 years
old, when your record is approved to be sealed it will also
automatically be expunged.
- How is "expunging a record"
different than "sealing a record"? Though a sealed record is
separated and not accessible in most circumstances, it
physically exists. To “expunge a record” means to destroy,
delete, and erase a record, as appropriate for the record’s
physical or electronic form or characteristic. This means
that the record is physically destroyed and permanently
- If your record is sealed or
expunged by the Juvenile Court and someone asks you if you
have a record, you may properly reply that no record exists.
If asked, the Court will also reply that no record exists.
- You may wish to read
portions of the Ohio Revised Code, § 2151.355; 2151.356;
2151.357 and 2151.358 for further details, available at most
libraries, and on the internet.
ATTACHED APPLICATION AND A HEARING MAY BE SCHEDULED FOR
CONSIDERATION BY THE COURT. YOU WILL BE NOTIFIED OF THE HEARING
DATE OR DECISION OF THE COURT.
Application for sealing by juvenile.pdf
Application for early expungement by juvenile.pdf
use of sealed records
|Per your request,
you are inspecting or being provided a copy of sealed records.
As is applicable to the nature of your request, please be
If you are the person subject of the records: the law
permits you to properly reply that no record exists regarding
any record that is sealed. If asked, the Court will also reply
that no record exists.
If you are a law enforcement officer, a prosecutor, or an
assistant of either and the record pertains to a felony act of
violence: you are permitted to use the records only for a
valid law enforcement or prosecutorial purpose.
If you are a party to a civil action based upon a case for
which records have been sealed: you are permitted to use
and/or copy the records only as needed for the civil action. The
records are otherwise confidential.
For further information regarding sealed records, please see
Ohio Revised Code § 2151.355 through § 2151.358.
Inspection by others.pdf