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How Ohio's hunters can reclaim their gun rights

Ohio’s hunters know that gun rights are about more than self-defense. They’re about tradition, familial bonds, and the chance to take a break from the everyday bustle. They’re about heading into the woods and finding a connection to nature that’s almost spiritual. So losing those rights can hurt.

The Ohio Constitution and the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution both grant you the right to keep and bear arms, but those rights can be revoked. If you’re ever charged for a drug felony or a violent crime, the state may strip you of your guns. Fortunately, there is a way to clear your name and reclaim your Second Amendment rights: expungement.

What is expungement?

Expungement is the process that Ohio’s courts use to seal your criminal records. The law disqualifies the courts from sealing many of the more serious crimes, but if you can seal the record for a crime, it’s almost as though it never happened. It won’t show up on most background checks, and if anyone asks if you were ever arrested, you can say “no.”

Who is eligible for expungement?

Ohio recently expanded its laws for expungement to cover most misdemeanors and fourth or fifth degree felonies. This means you might be able to seal your records if:

  • The court charged you with a felony, but later acquitted you or found you not guilty
  • You were convicted, but did not receive a mandatory prison term
  • You kept your nose clean through the mandatory waiting period
  • There are no presented charges against you

You cannot expunge the records for murder convictions, convictions for other violent felonies or felony sex offenses.

How does someone get their records expunged?

The expungement process can be complicated, but an experienced lawyer can guide you through the steps. The steps may vary from case to case, but in general the process involves three main steps:

  • Getting copies of all the relevant records
  • Filing your petition, including the fee
  • Attending a hearing to defend your petition

If everything else checks out, the court will still want to weigh your desire to clear your name against the public’s interest. At the hearing, you’ll want to show that you’ve learned your lesson and are making only positive contributions to society.

Return to the natural way of life

A criminal record can hinder your chances of landing a job, renting an apartment or getting a loan. Sealing your criminal records may allow you to move past youthful mistakes and enjoy a second chance at life, including hunting and enjoying the outdoors.

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Dublin, OH 43017

Phone: 614-356-7639
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