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Can I have my white collar crime records expunged?

In the state of Ohio, it is possible to have certain criminal records and/or convictions sealed. This is particularly valuable for those who wish to hide these records from background checks performed by potential employers or landlords. Further, when a person's record is legally sealed, he or she no longer needs to admit to having a record on job applications.

Ohio no longer refers to this process as expungement, but rather uses the term "sealing a criminal record." While the record does not disappear completely, it will become invisible to those conducting background checks in many situations. Along with its value in applying for jobs or renting a home, sealing a record also benefits those applying for credit or for an educational opportunity.

Some crimes are not eligible for sealing, but most white collar crimes can be sealed. As with most legal actions, those looking to seal their records must meet several requirements, such as:

-- Offenders must have only one felony conviction.-- Offenders can have a misdemeanor on record and still be eligible for sealing.-- Offenders cannot seal their records if they have other criminal charges pending.-- Offenders must wait three years after a felony conviction to be eligible.-- Offenders must wait one year to have misdemeanor records sealed.

Sometimes those charged with white collar crimes are found not guilty. Other times, the charges may be dismissed. However, it is possible that these charges will still show up in your criminal background. Having your records sealed greatly reduces the chance of these entries showing up in background checks.

If you are serious about sealing your criminal history, you should seek representation from a criminal defense attorney serving the state of Ohio. He or she can see to it that your requirements are met and that the record sealing process goes as smoothly as possible.

Source: Ohio Justice and Policy Center, "Understanding and Clearing Up Criminal Records in Ohio," accessed Aug. 26, 2015

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