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Hamilton County Juvenile Court Cincinnati, Ohio
800 BROADWAY:   JudgesAdministrationBuilding DirectoryHoursFAQsCourt History

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What are some of the terms used in Juvenile Court?

A. You can view common Juvenile Court terms and their meanings here.

Q. What kind of juvenile violent crimes lead directly to adult Court?

A. Serious crimes such as homicides, robberies, sex offenses and burglaries.

Q. What happens if I don't pay my Court fines and costs?

A. Costs and fines do not go away unless they are paid. Juvenile Court has traditionally been responsive to the need of clients and allowed payment plans over a period of time. Costs and fines are debts just like any other financial obligation. Failure to pay fines and costs will prevent records being sealed or expunged.

Q. How do I get emancipated?

A. In Ohio, a juvenile is considered emancipated when he or she gets married, joins the military or reaches the age of majority (18).

Q. How can I get my juvenile record sealed or expunged?

A. Because you were charged with an offense as a juvenile, Ohio law allows you to have your juvenile record sealed or expunged. The following is an explanation of the process that you must follow to seal or expunge your record.

1. You may apply to this Juvenile Court for an order to seal your record two years after any order made by the Court has ended. If you have been placed in a juvenile institution or other facility, you may not apply until two years after you have received an unconditional discharge from such institution or facility.

2. "Seal a record" means to remove a record from the main file of similar records and to secure it in a separate file that contains only sealed records, accessible only to the Juvenile Court.

3. Applying to seal your record doesn't automatically mean that it will be sealed. The Juvenile Court must find that you have been rehabilitated to a satisfactory degree. If your offense was aggravated murder, murder, rape, sexual battery or gross sexual imposition, your record cannot be sealed.

4. If your record is sealed by the Juvenile Court and someone asks you if you have a record, you may properly reply that no record exists. If asked, the Court will also reply that no record exists.

5. After your record has been sealed, your record will automatically be expunged after a period of five years or when you reach age 23, whichever occurs sooner. You may apply to the Juvenile Court to have your sealed record expunged sooner.

6. How is expunging a record different from sealing a record? Expunging a record means to destroy, delete and erase a record, as appropriate for the record's physical or electronic form or characteristic. This means that the record is permanently irretrievable.

7. You may obtain an application to either seal or expunge your record from the Juvenile Court Clerk's Office at 800 Broadway, Cincinnati, Ohio. That is also the location to file the application after you have finished filling it out.

8. You may wish to read portions of the Ohio Revised Code, 2151.355, 2151.356, 2151.357 and 2151.358 for further details, available at most libraries and on the internet.

Hamilton County Juvenile Court     •     800 Broadway     •     Cincinnati, Ohio 45202