Thursday, February 3, 2011

Free Help in Getting Your Criminal Record Sealed or Expunged

A criminal record can be a real hindrance in getting a job and a new life.  A lot of the "information" out there about getting your record expunged or sealed is confusing or wrong, and  the truth can vary from state to state.  For full information on record sealing in Ohio, see this document by the Ohio Re-Entry Coalition, which lays out all the facts in detail and provides copyable forms, with instructions and a checklist.  This is a state by state rundown from other parts of the country.

What many people don't know is that there is often free help to walk through the process and help you file in the right court, talking one on one with knowledgeable people to make sure you don't make legal mistakes and waste time and money. 

In the Toledo area, there are two free workshops that I know of.  One is on the first Friday of the month at the Lucas County Law Library, from 1-2 p.m. (on the corner of Jackson and Michigan in downtown Toledo).  Call ahead (419) 242-4363 to reserve a spot.  Another is Second Chance Tuesday, on the second Tuesday of each month at The Source, 1300 Monroe Street from 1-2 p.m.  For reservations, call
If you want to find legal help in your hometown, try searching Google with the terms "expungement workshop" and the name of your town.  A problem with this is that sometimes they are done on a one-time only basis, or for a limited time.  But even if it's an event that passed, you have still identified an agency in your town that may have more information.  Here's another website with more information on help for ex-offenders,  from local organizations. 

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