Why is it required to wait a year before you can have a record sealed?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Why is it required to wait a year before you can have a record sealed?

I was convicted of theft back in March and completed all of the requirements to
have the case dismissed in the allotted time theft diversion program, fines,
community service. Now that I finished I’m looking to go back to school, move
into a new apartment, and get a better job, but I can’t without having the record
sealed. I didn’t know that you had to wait a year and was wondering why you had
to do this and if there was any way to get around the waiting period.

Asked on July 17, 2017 under Criminal Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You have to wait because the law says you have to wait: it's as simple as that. There is no inherent or constitutional or even common law right to expungement: it's by statute. If the statute says you have to wait, then you have to wait, because in that case, the law allowing you to expunge requires a waiting time. In this case, your state law (e.g.section 2953.32 of the Ohio Revised Code) clearly requires a waiting period; there is no way around it.
Not that the reason the legislature specified a waiting period really matters--all that matters is that they did--but the idea is they want to make sure you can avoid committing another crime for at least a little while before allowing you to expunge.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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