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Old Convictions May No Longer Need to Be Reported on Initial Applications

Published: Jan 27, 2022 by Brandon Smith

Since at least 2012, the Ohio General Assembly has gradually worked to reduce the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction on obtaining a professional license. During the last decade, the General Assembly created Certificates of Qualification for Employment, which were meant to remove the presumption that certain convictions made you ineligible for certain licenses. The General Assembly also expanded the availability of sealing and expungement, as we reported here.

The most recent step to remove these collateral consequences took full effect in October 2021. House Bill 263 limits the convictions for which an agency can deny your initial application. It also removed most vague requirements such as requiring you to prove you possessed good moral character.

For most convictions, and most licenses, an agency can only deny your application based on a conviction if (1) the conviction is related to the profession and is included explicitly in a list of potentially disqualifying offenses published by the agency; and (2) the conviction occurred within the past five years. Fiduciary crimes, crimes of violence, and sexual offenses are treated differently.

In at least one case, a Graff & McGovern, LPA, client was granted a license despite a history that would have posed a significant hurdle had he applied before this law became effective.

If you have been hesitant to apply for a professional license in Ohio due to your past mistakes, you should consider contacting an experienced attorney at Graff & McGovern, LPA, to discuss the impact this new law may have on you. Attorney Brandon M. Smith can be reached for a no-cost initial consultation at (614) 228-5800, x. 7 and