Recent Posts



Is expungement the same as sealing a record?

No, they are not the same thing. Sealing a record hides the record’s contents but does not erase a conviction or arrest. While most background checks will not be able to see the contents of a sealed record, immigration offices, professional licensing boards, and employers for jobs working with children or requiring security clearance can see sealed records.

An expungement will erase and seal qualifying arrests, convictions, charges, and more so that even organizations that can see sealed records will not find your criminal history on your record.

What can I expunge from my record?

Expungement can remove qualifying convictions, arrests, and other legal records for criminal charges. First- and second-degree felonies do not qualify for expungement, nor do traffic offenses. Qualifying records eligible for expunction include:

  • Arrest records
  • Charges filed against you
  • Acquittals and not-guilty verdicts
  • Third-degree felony convictions or lesser (non-violent)
  • No-bill charges (insufficient evidence)

Am I eligible to request expungement for my record?

If you are seeking expungement as a non-violent criminal, have no current criminal charges against you, have six or fewer felonies on record, and are seeking expungement for a third-degree felony or lesser, you may be eligible to request an expungement of your record.

You must also file for the expungement after the waiting period. Misdemeanors require a waiting period of at least one year, while felonies require at least three years after the final decision.

Does the prosecutor in my case have a role in expungement?

The prosecutor may argue for denial of your request to expunge your record in a hearing before the court. You should hire an Ohio criminal defense attorney such as Matthew Bangerter from our Willoughby, OH, firm to represent your petition for expungement. Contact us at Fortress Law Group for more information about expungement in Northeast Ohio.

If I’m just requesting to expunge my record, do I need an Ohio expungement lawyer?

Ohio expungement lawyers such as Matthew C. Bangerter of Fortress Law Group can tell you about cases where a petitioner filed for an expungement of their record and didn’t realize the prosecutor would argue for denial of their expungement.

Choosing an expungement attorney from our Northeast Ohio firm, Fortress Law Group can help you fight for a clean record in your expungement hearing. Call our offices in Cleveland Metro at (440) 340-1740 to schedule a case review.