Sealing of a Criminal Record
Individuals who have been charged with a criminal offense in the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, or who have been convicted and had the charge(s) dismissed, or who were charged but not indicted by a Grand Jury, can apply to the Court to have their case sealed under Ohio law. Refer to the statutes below to get more detailed information.
Sealing of a conviction
2953.32 Sealing of record of first offense; application; hearing; fee; re-examination of sealed record
Sealing of a dismissed case or a refusal by a Grand Jury to indict
2953.52 Application to have records sealed; grounds; order
Additional statutes in the Ohio Revised Code may affect your eligibility to have your record sealed.
You may submit a motion to the Court of Common Pleas without the assistance of an attorney if you so choose. You can locate the form needed to file such a motion on our Criminal Forms page. There is a $50.00 non-refundable filing fee.
Deputy Clerks in the Clerk of Courts Office are not permitted to give legal advice. If you are uncertain regarding your eligibility to have your criminal case sealed by the court, you should consult with an attorney before paying the $50.00 filing fee. If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, you may call the Legal Aid of Western Ohio at 937-228-8088 to see if you qualify for their services.
The decision to grant your motion to seal your record lies with the Judge of the Common Pleas Court. The court will conduct an investigation in most cases before making a decision.
Waiting Periods to File a Motion to Seal Record
|Felony Conviction||3-5 years after final release|
|No True Bill Issued by Grand Jury||2 years after Grand Jury decision|
|Misdemeanor Conviction||1 year after final release|
|Completed Diversion Program||No waiting period; apply after dismissal of case|
|Dismissal of Charge (with Prejudice)||No waiting period|
|Dismissal of Charge (without Prejudice)||See Ohio statute|
|Completion of TLC or ILC||No waiting period|
|Found not guilty||No waiting period|
Frequently Asked Questions
You can review your case by searching online using the Public Records Online system. Enter either your name or your case number to view the docket on your case. You can also review the Clerk of Courts file on a Common Pleas Court case by going to the Records Section of the Clerk of Courts located at the Montgomery County Courts Building, 41 N. Perry St., Room 104, Dayton, Ohio 45422. You can review a Montgomery County Municipal Court case by going to the Eastern Division located at 6111 Taylorsville Road, Huber Heights, Ohio 45424 or the Western Division located at 195 South Clayton Road, New Lebanon, Ohio 45345.
You may file your motion on a Common Pleas Court case at the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts Office, Criminal Division, 41 N. Perry St., Room 104, Dayton, Ohio 45422. Motions for a Montgomery County Municipal Court case may be filed at the Eastern Division located at 6111 Taylorsville Road, Huber Heights, Ohio 45424 or the Western Division located at 195 South Clayton Road, New Lebanon, Ohio 45345. We accept personal checks drawn on a local bank with appropriate identification. Money orders payable to the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts are also accepted, as is cash. Montgomery County Municipal Court also accepts credit cards.
Yes, certain traffic convictions such as DUI cannot be sealed. There are other exceptions as well. Refer to the applicable Ohio statutes for additional information or consult with an attorney.
Under Ohio law, there are some circumstances under which your conviction record can be divulged and the facts and circumstances surrounding that conviction can be discovered. (See Section 2953.32 (D) of the Ohio Revised Code.) Generally, the incident – whether it is a conviction, a dismissal, or a no true bill by a grand jury – is deemed never to have occurred once it is sealed by a court. Federal law enforcement agencies do not recognize Ohio orders (or orders from other states) sealing a criminal case. Someone with access to federal database information may be able to see your sealed record if the record was submitted to the FBI.
This depends on how long it takes the court to complete the investigation into the case. It also depends on whether there is opposition to your application by the Prosecuting Attorney. There is no set time frame for this decision but you should assume a waiting period of about 2 months.
The court will refer your application to the appropriate Community Control Office. That office will conduct a background investigation to determine if you are eligible to have your record sealed. They will file a report with the court indicating their findings. The court will then conduct a hearing at which time the Prosecuting Attorney can offer evidence and testimony in opposition to your application, if he so wishes.
Under Ohio law, you can only have one conviction sealed. If you have more than one conviction, the court will not seal your record. You may have multiple dismissed cases or cases where the Grand Jury did not issue an indictment sealed.
It depends on the type of criminal record you are trying to seal. If you have a felony conviction, you must wait 3 years from the final release from prison, parole, or probation. If it is a misdemeanor conviction, you must wait 1 year from the final release. If your case was ignored by a Grand Jury, you must wait 2 years from the date of the Grand Jury report. If your case was dismissed, you can apply immediately upon the filing of the dismissal entry in the court.