Opportunity Port users must be seeking to seal their criminal record from an arrest, dismissal, or conviction in either Franklin County, Ohio, or Tuscarawas County, Ohio.
To connect with free criminal record sealing assistance from local legal aid organizations, a user must first complete the Opportunity Port survey.
When you’re ready to begin, click here to complete the Opportunity Port survey.
Opportunity Port does not charge its users for being connected with a legal service provider, and the legal assistance provided by our service providers is also free.
Opportunity Port’s service providers are the Legal Aid Society of Columbus (Franklin County), the Franklin County Municipal Court Self Help Resource Center (Franklin County), Equality Ohio (Franklin County), Southeastern Ohio Legal Services of New Philadelphia (Tuscarawas County), and The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law (Tuscarawas and Franklin County).
At the end of the Opportunity Port survey, you can choose which service provider you want to work with to complete your record sealing application.
Some our providers have income requirements for service. If the organization you choose is unable to help due to your income or household size, they will refer you to another Opportunity Port service provider who can.
is a free center that helps the public navigate the court system. They provide legal information including court forms, tools to help you complete court forms, and answers to general questions about court procedures.
provides direct legal representation to members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer community of Ohio.
Record sealing is tricky! That’s why Opportunity Port was created – to connect people with legal help so that they can more easily understand the laws and get legal advice as to whether or not they are eligible.
To start the record sealing process through Opportunity Port, complete the online survey.
If you wish to read more about record sealing, you can check out the Ohio Justice & Policy Center’s guide and FAQ page. (Reminder: Opportunity Port is not a law firm, therefore the information shared here about record sealing is not legal advice.)
A representative from the service provider you select to work with will reach out via phone or email within 24-48 hours to confirm your interest in receiving assistance and provide next steps.
Criminal records are publicly available information, unless they are expunged or sealed. Record sealing removes criminal records from the public record. Sealed records will not show up on background checks for apartments and most jobs. However, with expungement, the criminal record is completely removed from court records. In fact, no one has access to expunged records, not even police or public defenders. In the state of Ohio, only juvenile offenders and victims of human trafficking can have their records expunged.
Opportunity Port is not a law firm, and thus does not provide legal advice. However, our service providers help applicants determine whether or not they are eligible for record sealing or expungement based on the applicant’s case history and current laws. So if an applicant is eligible, a service provider will complete a record sealing application for submission to the court. If a service provider determines an applicant is not eligible, they will discuss next steps with the applicant. It’s important to note that these steps will look different for every applicant
After the Court seals your record, the general public cannot access it. Only particular individuals may access records for certain reasons. For instance, a prosecutor can view it if you’re charged with a new crime. Or as another example, a licensing board can see it if you want to work in healthcare or with children.
The attorneys who work for the service provider you choose will be able to see your information. Additionally, the program manager of Opportunity Port will have access to your information. No one else outside of the program or service providers will be able to view your information.