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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 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.


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