UPDATE: Expanded Eligibility For Felony Records

Effective April 12 2021, those with unlimited felonies of the 4th and 5th degree (primarily thefts and drug offenses) can apply to have them sealed after only one year. Many more people with felony convictions are now eligible to seal their records!
Seal your record

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have additional questions – please contact info@legalworksneo.org

For Motions to Seal (aka “expungement”):

  • $50 per case in cleve municipal or Cuyahoga county court of common pleas
  • $100 per case in any suburban court in Cuyahoga county
  • $200 per case in any court in any adjacent county.

A deposit is requested prior to the filing of the motion.


This attorney fee is unrelated to court costs. Court costs can range from $50 to $100 depending on the filing fee of any court. The court costs in Cleveland Municipal Court and Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court is $50. If the client is unemployed and/or indigent the courts are generally very generous in allowing client to waive court costs by filing a poverty affidavit that LegalWorks will provide. Again, this filing fee is independent of the costs requested by LegalWorks related to the legal services which is not waivable.

We provide representation to residents and those with convictions or legal issues in the following Ohio counties:

  • Cuyahoga
  • Lorain
  • Lake
  • Geauga
  • Summit
  • Portage
  • Medina

LegalWorks does not assist in criminal cases where a public defender or private lawyer will handle the case (most cases in common pleas court or municipal courts), unless its related to a Motion to seal or “expunge” or a motion to vacate capias (we will handle the underlying offense if there is a simple resolution). However, a LegalWorks attorney can offer assistance with criminal matters individually with a client.

We do not represent indiviudals in the following types of cases:

  • civil litigation
  • workers comp
  • bankruptcy
  • eviction (unless gross miscarriage of justice and we are last resort)
  • divorce/dissolution/child support
  • administrative appeals

That said, LegalWorks is happy to provide referrals and recommendations to attorneys who deal in these types of law.

Felonies of the first and second degree, violent crimes, and “attempted” violent crimes (e.g. attempted robbery, attempted arson, attempted assault) are NOT sealable, however they may be eligible for a Governor’s pardon under the right circumstances. (see the next FAQ for more information).


There are some grey areas because the new law which went into effect in October 2018 did not exactly replace the old law – so, in some instances a conviction (like a misdemeanor assault, if that is the sole conviction on someone’s record) may be sealable under the old law but not the new law. We would then file under the old law.


If there is a question, we will research and assess eligibility before moving forward with the motion.

By law, once all of your files are sealed and you are asked whether or not you have a record, you are allowed to say “No.”

The time it takes for the Court to rule depends on which court is ruling on it. In other words some suburban courts are quite slow (4 to 6 months) while others are very quick (six weeks). Cleveland Municipal Court normally takes less than two months and most judges in the Common Pleas Court will rule in about 3 to 4 months.


LegalWorks takes pride in the fact that once we assess eligibility and decide to move forward and have the necessary poverty affidavit or filing fees, we move quickly, normally filing within a week after these determinations.

Yes. The new law opened up what can be sealed, considerably. Now one can seal unlimited misdemeanors (our record is 26!) and up to five felony convictions (limited to felonies of the 4th and 5th degree).

Once sealed (and it may take several weeks for the courts, law enforcement agencies and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation to remove any reference of the relevant crime from their records), it is not visible to most inquiries. However some industries, when researching someone’s past have access to “sealed” information, such as the health industry, child or elderly care industries.

Yes! Ohio now offers a program whereby citizens with a criminal record can apply for a Governor’s Pardon. If we’re unable to seal or expunge your record through traditional means, LegalWorks can help you apply for this new program. Contact us for more information.


Learn more about the Ohio Governor’s Expedited Pardon Project (OGEPP).

LegalWorks does not directly help with services beyond legal, however we partner with like-minded non-profits and other organizations who can provide additional ways of helping people become productive members of society.


Partner Organizations include:

  • Towards Employment – workforce development and employer matchmaking throughout Northeast Ohio


Ready to get help?

Attend a clinic, drop-in to our weekly office hours, or make an appointment.

Cleveland Public Library