Offender Reentry Into The Workforce
Reentering the workforce for an offender can be difficult. The Legal Aid Society of Columbus (LASC) offers a couple clinics every year to help individuals learn about getting a criminal record sealed.
Under Ohio law, expungement is called sealing a record. This is a court process that allows individuals with a criminal history to have convictions cleared from public records and placed into a sealed court file. Having convictions cleared from public records can help individuals looking for jobs, licenses, and apartments. Sealed court files can still be viewed by law enforcement and prosecutors. A sealed court file can also be used against an individual in court cases being sentenced and convicted of committing a crime. However, a sealed court file cannot be used against an individual appearing as a witness in court testifying on another person’s behalf.
There are convictions that cannot be sealed in a court file. Crimes such as motor vehicle violations, driver’s license violations, sexual battery and rape cannot be approved for a sealed court file. Pending violations and other situations can cause a judge to refuse to seal a record. The Ohio Ex-Offender Reentry Coalition provides more information about convictions and situations that cannot be approved for a sealed court file.