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How long does a criminal defense stay on your record?

I live in Ohio and I was charged with petty theft just a few months ago (I'm 18). It was the only crime I was ever charged with since. I didn't have to pay a fine or serve jail time. The judge simply "dropped" the case. I know it's now on my record and I wanted to know is there any chance I can get it expunged even though the crime happened a few months ago? Or if I choose not to get it expunged does the charge simply "disappear" from my record? I understand it was a dumb mistake and I'm looking to move forward with my life without this hunting me.

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    Kollin Rice | Rice & Co., LPA
    2424 Woodville Rd
    Oregon, OH 43616
    (419) 697-2424
    The charge will never disappear from your record unless you take steps to make that happen. If the case was dismissed, then you can file a motion to seal the record right away. If you were convicted of a crime, even if you did not receive a sentence of probation, jail time, or a fine, you have to wait one year from the point at which all your time has been served, and all fines and court costs paid, before you can file a motion to have your case sealed or expunged. Even then, you will have to meet the eligibility requirements for having your record sealed.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio - Replied: 8/20/2014
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