Record relief: Sealing may be sought for an unlimited number of felonies of the 4th or 5th desgree after a one-year waiting period after final discharge, up to two felonies of the third degree and an unlimited number of more serious misdemeanors after a three-year waiting period, felonies involving nonviolent sexual offenses after five years, and felonies involving improper compensation after a seven-year waiting period.  Minor misdemeanors must wait either one year or six months, depending upon the nature of the offense.  Sealing is also available for pardoned convictions and non-conviction records upon disposition. Felonies of the first and second degree are never eligible, nor are violent offenses.  “Final discharge” requires payment of restitution. Sealing restores rights and prohibits inquiry by employers and licensing boards in most cases, but a sealed conviction may be used in subsequent criminal case. 

An application for expungement (destruction ) of a felony may be made 10 years after the time the offense would be eligible for sealing.  However, expungement of a misdemeanor may be sought one year after final discharge, or six months in the case of a minor misdemeanor.  Expungement is also available for prostitution convictions of victims of human trafficking.  Juvenile records may be sealed six months after discharge, except for convictions of rape or murder, and sealed records are automatically expunged 5 years afterward or when the person reaches age 23, or earlier by petition if the court finds rehabilitation.Sealing is available for out-of-state and federal offenses (only seals records held by Ohio). 

Intervention in lieu of conviction is available for those with no prior violent felony convictions.

Judicial certificates:  Judicial Certificate of Qualification for Employment (CQE) removes specified mandatory occupational and licensing consequences and creates a presumption of fitness; 1-year waiting period after completion of sentence for felonies, 6 months for misdemeanors.  Unlike judicial certificates in some other states, individuals with out-of-state or federal convictions are ineligible for a CQE, even if they reside and/or do business in the state.