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A significant majority of criminal convictions in Ohio are the result of alleged offenders agreeing to plead guilty (possibly to reduced charges) instead of risking a loss at trial that would carry longer terms of incarceration. All too often, people who have been charged with criminal offenses focus entirely on possible jail or prison sentences but fail to take into account the multitude of potentially lifetime civil consequences that come with being convicted.
Certain criminal offenses carry more serious long-term consequences than others, and convictions for sexual offenses are among the most damaging with the potential to dramatically impact numerous areas of the lives of alleged offenders. In addition to barriers on current and future employment, people convicted of these crimes can suffer the loss of many civil rights and experience general difficulty reentering society.
If you were arrested or believe that you might be under investigation for any kind of alleged sex crime in Central Ohio, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel in order to ensure that you achieve the most favorable possible outcome to your case that results in the fewest possible consequences. Joslyn Law Firm aggressively defends clients all over Fairfield County, Franklin County, Licking County, Madison County, Pickaway County, Union County, and Delaware County.
Columbus criminal defense attorney Brian Joslyn has been nominated as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer in the country by the National Trial Lawyers Association and was ranked one of the 10 best criminal defense lawyers in Ohio by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys. He can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (614) 444-1900 to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.
State law in Ohio imposes hundreds of collateral consequences on people convicted of criminal offenses—regardless of how those convictions were obtained. One consequence that specifically affects individuals convicted of sexual offenses in Ohio is the possibility of being required to register as a sex offender, a punishment that can have a considerable effect on not only an alleged offender’s ability to find work but also to obtain basic housing.
Some of the other possible consequences of a conviction for a sex-related crime in Ohio include, but are not limited to:
In addition to many of the restrictions imposed under state or federal laws, sex crime convictions can also negatively impact many other facets of a person’s life. Such convictions can potentially affect child custody decisions as well as professional licensing by other independent boards.
When a person is convicted of a sex offense in Ohio, his or her criminal record becomes a matter of public record viewable by all members of the general public. While people convicted of certain crimes often seek to have their records sealed so they can only be viewed by certain authorized agencies, state law in Ohio prohibits people convicted of any sexual offenses from sealing their criminal records.
While certain professions may be prohibited from hiring people with criminal convictions, an individual who has been convicted of a sex offense in Ohio may be able to obtain some relief by applying for a Certificate of Qualified Employment (CQE). CQEs can be a very beneficial option for people convicted of sex crimes who are otherwise ineligible to seal their criminal records.
People are eligible for CQEs only if they have been convicted of violations of state law, not federal. Individuals must wait until six months after the final discharge (the date that the person finished paying all fines and completed his or her term of incarceration or parole) of a misdemeanor or one year after the final discharge of a felony sex offense.
When a person applies for a CQE, a Justice Reinvestment Officer (JRO) with the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections reviews the application. If the JRO is satisfied with the application, the applicant then files it in the court of common pleas where he or she lives.
The court then conducts its own investigation and usually holds a hearing. If the court rules in the applicant’s favor, he or she receives the CQE and an employer can hire that person without fear of being sued for negligent hiring practices. A CQE does not guarantee someone a job, but it does help make it possible to be hired.
Civil Impacts of Criminal Convictions (CIVICC) — CIVICC is a project of the Ohio Justice & Policy Center and the Office of the Ohio Public Defender. Visitors to this website can use the online database to enter specific convictions and see all of the possible civil barriers that can result. You can search by civil impact or the offense keyword or Ohio Revised Code section, and you can also find answers to frequently asked questions.
Collateral Consequences of Criminal Conviction in Ohio — The Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Service funded this research report examining the collateral consequences of criminal convictions in Ohiol. The authors “found that Ohio law—through constitutional provisions, statutes, administrative regulations, and court rules—imposes hundreds of collateral consequences on persons who have been convicted of criminal offenses, regardless of whether the conviction was obtained by plea or trial and regardless of the jurisdiction in which the conviction occurred.” You can review the results to a survey conducted by the authors, various tables, and prior research on collateral consequences.
Do you think you could be under investigation or were you already arrested for allegedly committing a sexual offense in Central Ohio? Do not enter into any plea agreements with a prosecutor without legal representation. Contact Joslyn Law Firm today.
Brian Joslyn is a skilled criminal defense attorney in Columbus who represents clients all over the greater Franklin County area, including Hilliard, Reynoldsburg, Upper Arlington, Westerville, Whitehall, Worthington, Bexley, Dublin, Gahanna, Grove City, and several other surrounding communities. Call (614) 444-1900 or fill out an online contact form today to receive a free consultation that will let our lawyer review your case and discuss all of your legal options.