Ohio has laid out certain rules and guidelines for filing an application to have a criminal conviction sealed or expunged. One general rule is that once a judge has denied an application for expungement, the applicant is not allowed to re-file in the future.
However, an exception to this rule exists where an applicant for expungement can show that there has been a “change in circumstances” from the time of the denied application to the present application. In re Application for the Sealing of the Record of Brown, 2008-Ohio-4105.
The Courts do not define what a change in circumstances is, but listed several examples of what a change in Circumstances could be:
- Ohio Law expanding the types of cases that become eligible for expungement is considered a change of circumstances. State v. Matthews, 2015- Ohio-3517.
- Simply waiting to re-file an application does not create a change in circumstances, but waiting to re-file and showing the court the conviction creates financial hardship would create a change in circumstances. State v. Schwartz, 2005-Ohio-3171.
- An applicant was denied an expungement for a misdemeanor because she had felony conviction as well. The Court stated a change of circumstances occurred because the applicant was able to have the felony expunged and showed the court the misdemeanor conviction affected her job. State v. S.J., 2020-Ohio-183.
If you are interested to see if you would be an eligible applicant to have your record expunged, it is important to contact an attorney who is knowledgeable about the expungement process. A knowledgeable attorney can guide you through the process, including re-filing to have a conviction expunged that may have been previously denied. If you have questions about your Columbus traffic or criminal charges, talk to our defense attorneys at 614-361-2804.
Written by Anthony Iori, Riddell Law Associate