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Top Criminal Lawyer Edward La Rue Reveals Step-By-Step Process to Expunge Convictions In Ohio - Cleveland, OH

Leading Criminal Defense Attorney and founding partner of the Law Offices Edward R. La Rue, in Cleveland, Ohio, discusses the process to expunge convictions, highlighting recent law changes and factors to consider before applying. For more information please visit

Courts in Ohio are likely to be handling more applications in 2024 for the opportunity to erase their criminal record then ever!  Those seeking a new job, a better apartment, a new loan, or simply a brighter future may want to look in to the possibility of doing so without their past coming back to haunt them, Criminal Attorney Edward La Rue said this week.

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Significant changes in the law have been adopted in Ohio during the past year to help people either seal or expunge their criminal convictions for good, and applications are being made in larger numbers than ever to Ohio Courts.

This is also the case with Cleveland criminal attorney La Rue, whose office has been fielding calls from the public looking to make a fresh start with the help of these new laws.

Edward R. La Rue said the amendments to existing laws, first adopted in April of 2023, defined the difference between the sealing, and the expungement, of a person’s record. 

A sealed record is removed from all public records and ensures that it is not in the “public view” if someone like a landlord or employer is doing a background check. Sealed records, however, remain on government databases for limited access purposes such as law enforcement personnel, etc. An “expungement" is a complete erasure of a record, meaning it is permanently irretrievable by all parties including the Courts where it originated once the process is complete.

La Rue said that there are several factors to consider before anyone can apply for their records to be expunged. These include the type of criminal charges that may or may not able to be sealed or expunged under the new laws, and if all fines and restitution have been completed. Those with open or pending criminal cases, traffic violations, and warrants cannot apply.  Those convicted of, or even charged with certain offenses may not be eligible for sealing or expungement.

Equally, the waiting period before a criminal conviction can be sealed must be completed. Those with minor misdemeanors can be sealed after six months, and misdemeanors after a year. Third, fourth, and fifth-degree require a year-long wait, while other eligible crimes must wait for up to ten years.

La Rue advised: "Those who believe they can apply should seek the help of an experienced attorney as there may well be legal issues to overcome. They should also remember that an application for a record's expungement is not guarantee of the Court’s agreement to do so."

He said that a person seeking to have their criminal record sealed or expunged must apply to the court where they were convicted or had their case dismissed. So, anyone with multiple convictions in separate courts must apply to each court. 

An application fee of up to $50 is required for each court, but this can be waived if income eligibility rules are met. A hearing will be held 45 to 90 days after the application has been filed. Crime victims and prosecutors may offer an objection.

An applicant has to attend the hearing to explain why the crime should be sealed or expunged and how they have been rehabilitated. They should explain why concealing or deleting the conviction is in the public interest and outweighs the government's interest in keeping them open.

The judge will then make a final decision and can cite many different reasons for not expunging a record, said La Rue. "But the option is now there and the potential to start afresh for someone looking to better themselves with housing, employment and financial opportunities."

He concluded that a successful applicant should run a self-background check to ensure the court concluded the process and that no records are exposed. If so, they may require further action.


Contact Info:
Name: Edward R. La Rue
Email: Send Email
Organization: Edward R. La Rue, Attorney at Law
Address: 323 W. Lakeside Avenue, Suite 210, Cleveland, Ohio 44113
Phone: (216) 304-4850

Release ID: 89122180

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