Sealing Your Record
When someone has criminal charges filed against them, documents are created that can be accessed by the public. A criminal record is any criminal history compiled by state, local, or federal law enforcement agencies. By sealing a criminal record, the official information about the crime will be removed from public view, and with some limited exceptions, will not be available to employers.
Regardless of whether you were convicted or your charges were dismissed, it is best to have the court seal the file so that it is no longer accessible to the public, including possible employers. The process to seal either a dismissed case or a convicted case is the same, however, there are restrictions on the number and type of convicted cases that can be sealed. Furthermore, a convicted case must be concluded for at least one year before a petition to seal the record can be filed.
NOTE: If you were convicted of a minor misdemeanor for possession of marijuana, you should apply to seal the record as soon as possible. Drug convictions make you ineligible for federally subsidized student loans.
The following downloads are the applications that Athens County Municipal Court accepts for sealing criminal records. Multiple convictions can be listed on the same application to seal the record of conviction and multiple dismissals can be listed on the same application to seal the record of dismissal. However, convictions and dismissals cannot be listed on the same application. The Athens County Municipal Court charges a $50.00 fee for each application.
In addition to your application to have your records sealed in the Athens County Municipal Court, you can also request to have a third party company contact consumer reporting agencies that have databases that include publicly available records of conviction of crimes for an additional cost of $45.00. The additional third party fee is optional and you may choose to opt out, but you must complete the application either way.
If you have questions about which petition to use, how to complete the petition, or any other questions about sealing a criminal record, please schedule an appointment to speak with an attorney.