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“Not guilty” verdict can leave mark on criminal record

Hearing a judge confirm that you are not guilty of a crime you didn’t commit lifts a weight from your shoulders. You won’t have to suffer jail time or fines, but the very allegation can still penalize you. Criminal charges may continue to haunt you when you apply for jobs, housing or loans during a background check.

Criminal records can come from public services as well as private corporate reports. Police records might not always automatically include the details of your case if you were acquitted. Other types of records may show that you were associated with a criminal case in some way, which can give examiners the wrong impression.

Although it is rare to clear your name completely, you might be able to remove your involvement from future background checks. An Ohio court may decide to seal your record. This means that the charges still exist, but a hiring manager or landlord could not access the information.

To seal your criminal record, you must complete an application with the court that issued your verdict. A criminal defense attorney may be able to answer your questions about this process regarding waiting periods, the circumstances of your case and whether it is likely that the court will grant your request.

Even if the court agrees to seal your record, certain people can still access the information. Police, parole and probation officers can review sealed records if you are part of a future investigation. However, you can still expect fewer social penalties. Sealing your record can make it easier to move forward in your career, education and financial standing.

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