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Expungement Lawyer in Willoughby, OH

Before searching for a “lawyer for expungement near me,” consider contacting our experienced expungement legal team at Fortress Law Group, proudly serving Willoughby, Cleveland, and all of Northeast Ohio.
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Why Choose Fortress Law Group?

Extensive Experience – Established in 2009, our firm has represented thousands of clients in various kinds of criminal cases. Our criminal defense attorneys make sure each client is diligently represented and protected throughout the trial.


Professional and Reliable – We value the trust and confidence each client gives us. The criminal justice system is complex, but we are dedicated to guiding you throughout the process to ensure your rights are protected.


Comprehensive Criminal Defense – Our team of attorneys is knowledgeable and up to date with all the relevant case laws and procedural rules in court and will ensure all your bases are covered.


Flexible Consultation Times – Facing a criminal charge is a serious matter. You must communicate with a lawyer as soon as possible. That’s why our communication lines – online and via phone – are available for clients to reach out to us at any time.

Eligibility to Request Expungement

You must be eligible for expungement, which means you must be an “eligible offender” (non-violent criminal, seeking expungement of a third-degree felony or lesser crime). In addition, you must not have current criminal charges filed against you or six or more felonies on your record.

You may also need to wait for a certain amount of time after serving a sentence or receiving a verdict before filing for expungement of your record. For example, a misdemeanor expunction requires a one-year waiting period from the final discharge. Felonies require a waiting period of at least three years.

What If the Prosecutor Objects to Expungement?

The court will schedule a hearing for you to plead your case on the expunction of your record, while the prosecutor would need to present their argument for the court to deny the expungement.

Your best option is to have an experienced expungement attorney represent you at the hearing to present your argument before the court. Contact our offices at Fortress Law Group, LLC., in Northeast Ohio, to schedule a consultation.

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Related FAQs


Is expungement the same as sealing a record?

No, they are not the same thing. Sealing a record hides the record's contents but does not erase a conviction or arrest. While most background checks will not be able to see the contents of a sealed record, immigration offices, professional licensing boards, and employers for jobs working with children or requiring security clearance can see sealed records.

An expungement will erase and seal qualifying arrests, convictions, charges, and more so that even organizations that can see sealed records will not find your criminal history on your record.

What can I expunge from my record?

Expungement can remove qualifying convictions, arrests, and other legal records for criminal charges. First- and second-degree felonies do not qualify for expungement, nor do traffic offenses. Qualifying records eligible for expunction include:

  • Arrest records
  • Charges filed against you
  • Acquittals and not-guilty verdicts
  • Third-degree felony convictions or lesser (non-violent)
  • No-bill charges (insufficient evidence)

Am I eligible to request expungement for my record?

If you are seeking expungement as a non-violent criminal, have no current criminal charges against you, have six or fewer felonies on record, and are seeking expungement for a third-degree felony or lesser, you may be eligible to request an expungement of your record.

You must also file for the expungement after the waiting period. Misdemeanors require a waiting period of at least one year, while felonies require at least three years after the final decision.

Does the prosecutor in my case have a role in expungement?

The prosecutor may argue for denial of your request to expunge your record in a hearing before the court. You should hire an Ohio criminal defense attorney such as Matthew Bangerter from our Willoughby, OH, firm to represent your petition for expungement. Contact us at Fortress Law Group for more information about expungement in Northeast Ohio.

If I’m just requesting to expunge my record, do I need an Ohio expungement lawyer?

Ohio expungement lawyers such as Matthew C. Bangerter of Fortress Law Group can tell you about cases where a petitioner filed for an expungement of their record and didn’t realize the prosecutor would argue for denial of their expungement.

Choosing an expungement attorney from our Northeast Ohio firm, Fortress Law Group can help you fight for a clean record in your expungement hearing. Call our offices in Cleveland Metro at (440) 340-1740 to schedule a case review.

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At Fortress Law Group, we want to provide you with a clear understanding of the criminal charges you may be facing and their implications for your future. We maintain a collection of resources to educate and prepare you for effective coordination with your legal team.

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Professional Associations

Matthew C. Bangerter, Esq.

As a former Assistant Prosecutor in Lake County Ohio, Cleveland criminal defense attorney Matthew C. Bangerter, ESQ. has experience with the strategies used by prosecutors to pursue their cases. As a member of the Ohio Bar Association, Lake County Bar Association, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cuyahoga Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the Board of Directors of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, he takes his profession as a Cleveland criminal defense attorney seriously and ensures that he is up to date with the latest case law and trial strategies.

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Whether you’re charged with a DUI, misdemeanor, or felony, the prospect of facing trial is stressful. Worse, there’s also the possibility of jail time if things don’t go well for you in court. To help you face these legal adversities, you need an attorney who can work on an effective defense strategy and make sure your civil rights are upheld throughout the process. A Willoughby criminal appeals attorney at Fortress Law Group, LLC provides clients with comprehensive legal representation from trial to appeal, if needed.
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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.
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