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Title: HB 561 – Remove Spousal Exceptions for Certain Sex Offenses
Status: Under Review by House Criminal Justice Committee
Summary: The bill eliminates all spousal exceptions to certain sex offenses, including rape, sexual battery, unlawful conduct with a minor, gross sexual imposition and sexual imposition. Under current law, spousal exceptions for rape are only applicable when the spouse lives with the offender. If passed, an offender could be charged with the qualifying sexual offenses irrespective if their spouse lives with them. The bill also removes spousal exceptions for importuning when the offender is 18 years or older or 4+ years older than the other person. A spouse is also permitted to testify against their spouse in a prosecution case for one of the above offenses, including communications by one to the other in a case involving one of these offenses and another victim.
Committees: House – Criminal Justice

Title: HB 38 – Increase Penalty for Murder or Assault of First Responders, Military Personnel or Law Enforcement Officers
Status: Passed in House and Senate, Concurred in Senate Amendments
Summary: The definition of aggravated murder is expanded to include purposely causing the death of a first responder, military member, or current/former law enforcement officer when the offender knows or has reasonable cause to know the victim serves in one of those capacities. The bill requires a mandatory prison term of 3 to 11 years for an attempt to commit aggravated murder on one of the above-mentioned service members. Unchanged by the bill, is the range of prison terms for attempted aggravated murder, but the bill makes this range mandatory if an offender knowingly or purposely causes a responder’s death or intentionally sets to kill or cause harm to the victim.
Committees: House – Criminal Justice, Senate – Judiciary

Title: HB 278 – Include Harming Police Officer as Vehicular Assault
Status: House Reported Substitute Bill
Summary: The bill adds causing serious physical harm to a law enforcement officer while operating a motor vehicle as a prohibited offense under vehicular assault. A violation for this offense is a first-degree misdemeanor which carries a possible jail term of no more than 180 days, and a maximum $1,000 fine, with the possibility of community residential, nonresidential, and financial sanctions.
Committees: House – Criminal Justice

Title: HB 68: Prohibit Certain Sexual Conduct Involving an Impaired Person
Status: Passed House, Passed Senate
Summary: The bill has two major provisions: expanding the definition of pandering obscenity involving a minor and allowing eligible individuals convicted of ‘unlawful sexual conduct with a minor’ to be removed from an offender registry. Pandering obscenity involving a minor, pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor and the illegal use of a minor in sexual material, will now include in its definition “pandering material, or illegally involving, an impaired person in sexually oriented material.” Impaired person means anyone who is unable to resist or consent to their involvement in a material due to a physical or mental disability, old age, or another substantial impairment. The penalties range from a fifth-degree felony to a third-degree felony for illegally disseminating material, pandering material (i.e., creating, reproducing, buying, advertising, etc.), or involving someone who is impaired in any sexually or generally obscene material. Penalties also increase for sexually trafficking a victim for purposes of impairing them and including them in obscene material.

The second portion of the bill allows eligible individuals convicted of ‘unlawful sexual conduct with a minor’ to petition a court to terminate their SORN/registry duties and have their records sealed. Under current law, a person who has their registration duties terminated is ineligible to have their records seals, but the bill amends the law for specified individuals convicted of the above crime. Eligibility requirements for this relief are very narrow. A person must meet 6 eligibility criteria as follows: 1) a sentencing court found the person had a low risk of recidivating; 2) the sentencing court only imposed community sanctions instead of a prison term; 3) the offender was under age 21 at the time of the offense; 4) the person has not been convicted of certain other sexual offenses; 5) the minor was at least 14 years old and under no threat (or coerced) to engage in the sexual conduct; and 6) the person was not in an authority position at the time of the offense (See R.C. 2950.151(a)(1)(f) for definition of ‘a person in authority’). When petitioning the court for removal from the registry, the person cannot be a Tier III registrant and must produce: (a) a certified copy of the judgement entry and any other documentation; (b) evidence of their probation being terminated; (c) evidence of completion of a sex offender treatment program; (d) evidence to show individual meets eligibility criteria; and (e) any evidence of rehabilitation. Lastly, when a person requests to have their record sealed, the court must consider additional factors than a normal request for record sealing. These criteria are specified in the bill.

Title: SB 138: Regulate Body Cavity and Strip Searches; Limit Lawsuits Regarding 
Status: Senate – Judiciary Reported Substitute Bill
Summary: The bill expands the power to conduct body cavity searches to corrections officers and corrections agencies and removes the “same sex” provisions for body cavity searches. Body cavities are defined as sensitive regions of the body, including genitalia. When law enforcement and corrections officers are permitted to conduct searches, they must do so with probable cause, or exigent reasons such as legitimate medical or hygienic emergencies. Searches may only be conducted after the appropriate authority has obtained a warrant, unless obtaining prior authorization is impracticable. For strip searches, jails and local detention facilities (defined in the bill) are permitted to require anyone entering the facility’s “general population” to undergo a strip search immediately after the booking process or at any time during their detention. During the search, a person who refuses to remove their clothing or manipulate their genitalia for inspection, can still be required to do so by a correctional officer or another authorized person. These provisions apply to anyone detained in the jail regardless of their offense.
Committees: Senate – Judiciary

Title: HB 96: Increase Penalty for Sexual Imposition

Status: Passed House, Reported to Senate Judiciary Committee
Summary: The bill increases the jail term for sexual imposition (i.e. unwanted sexual contact) when the offender has three or more previous convictions for sexual imposition, or other qualifying sex offenses, to up to one year in jail. Currently under Ohio law, someone previously convicted of sexual imposition or another sexual offense is guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor and can serve a maximum of 180 days in jail. The bill also increases penalties for disorderly conduct involving voluntary intoxication. Disorderly conduct is still a minor misdemeanor but conduct with voluntary intoxication becomes a fourth-degree misdemeanor.
Committees: House – Criminal Justice, Senate - Judiciary

Title: HB 391: Grant Restitution for Cost of Accounting for Economic Loss
Status: Passed House, Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee
Summary: Unchanged by the bill, is the victim’s ability to receive restitution as part of the offender’s sentence; the restitution is based on economic loss that was a direct result of the offense. Loss can include lost time at work because of an injury caused by the offender, any property loss, medical costs, or funeral expenses. The bill adds accounting and auditing costs that are incurred to determine the victim’s loss. The cost must be incurred and payable to the victim. Courts imposing restitution for accounting or auditing must determine the extent of the economic loss, and the cost must not exceed the actual property value or services stolen or damaged as a result of the crime.
Committees: House – Criminal Justice, Senate – Judiciary

Title: SB 207: Expand Felonious Assault to Include Suffocation or Strangulation
Status: Passed Senate, Introduced in House on 11/29/18
Summary: The bill adds strangulation, chocking, and suffocation as prohibitions under the offense of domestic violence, unless someone is applying pressure to the chest or throat to prevent choking or as part of a medical procedure. These offenses are defined as impeding normal breathing or blood circulation of a family or household member, pressuring the throat or neck or blocking the nose or mouth. If convicted of these actions under the offense of domestic violence, the guilty party will receive a third-degree felony and a mandatory prison term ranging between 6 and 36 months. Harm to a pregnant woman or the unborn child carries a mandatory prison term of 9 to 36 months. A person previously convicted of domestic violence or two or more violent offenses will be guilty of a 2nd degree felony and sentenced to a mandatory prison term between 2 and 8 years. A household member is also defined under the bill.
Committees: Senate – Judiciary

Title: SB 20: Add Prison Term if Permanently Disable Victim
Status: Passed Senate, Passed House, Senate concurred in House amendments
Summary: The colloquial term for this bill is “Destiny’s Law.” It specifies a definite term of six years must be added to a defendant’s sentence if they are found guilty of felonious assault and there is a specification that the victim, who was 10 years old or less, suffered permanent disabling harm at the time of the offense. Whether or not the defendant knew the victim’s age is irrelevant. The offender must also be convicted of the specification before the definite term can be added. The court must impose the six-year sentence and an individual’s sentence cannot be reduced by judicial release, for earned credit or pursuant to any other provision of ORC 2967 or 5120. The mandatory prison term must be served consecutively to and prior to any term for the felonious assault. If a person receives a maximum sentence, they cannot be subjected to another prison term relative to the same offense. Permanent disability is defined as permanent injury to a person’s intellectual, physical, or sensory functions or their ability to care for one’s self and perform manual tasks.
Committees: Senate – Judiciary, House – Criminal Justice

Title: SB 201: Enact Reagan Tokes Law – Indefinite Prison Terms
Status: Passed Senate, Referred to House Criminal Justice Committee
Summary: The Reagan Tokes bill would modify the current Felony Sentencing law by allowing individuals sentenced to prison for 1st degree, 2nd degree and certain 3rd degree felonies to be held indefinitely, and with a presumption of release after the minimum sentence has been served. Indefinite sentencing means an individual is not given a set release date but can be released by a sentencing court or ODRC anywhere between serving the minimum and up to the maximum time in prison for a specified crime. The bill also allows for the following:
  • The indefinite sentencing term will consist of a time selected by the sentencing judge from a range of terms authorized for the degree of the offense and a maximum term set by statue 
  • The minimum range of time is determined by the range of definite terms available for the offense under existing law 
  • Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections can recommend to a sentencing court that an individual’s minimum term should be reduced for good behavior, 
    • The court is required after the hearing to grant or deny the reduction 
    • Prosecutors and victims may present evidence at the early release hearings and judges may consider underlying facts of the original case when considering a prisoner’s early release request 
    • In the DRC, monthly release facts show less than 0.1% of individuals who have served 80% of their minimum sentence were granted early release 
  • ODRC can hold a prisoner up to the maximum sentence if it makes specified findings 
  • After an individual has served an indefinite term, they will be subject to post-release control (PRC) to the same extent and with the same rules as an individual with a definite term 
  • A court can still opt to impose a definite prison term but the bill provides for indefinite sentencing 
Read the Ohio Public Defender’s Opponent Testimony here. (see attached pdf)
Read the Senators Kevin Bacon and Sean O’Brien’s Proponent Testimony here.  
Fiscal impact of increased prison population due to SB201. 
Committees: House – Criminal Justice, Senate – Government Oversight and Reform

Title: SB 231: Violent Offender Registry
Status: Passed Senate, Referred to House Criminal Justice Committee
Summary: Individuals who are convicted on or after the bill’s effective date of aggravated murder, murder, voluntary manslaughter, kidnapping, or abduction in the second-degree will be required to register with their county Sheriff in Ohio as a violent offender. Also, any person, on or after the bill’s effective date, who is convicted of one of the above crimes and is confined to a jail, workhouse, state correctional institution, or another institution, must also register. Individuals may also face indefinite registration if they commit another violent felony or misdemeanor or fail to abide by the terms of their parole or community control sanctions, including failing to pay fines, fees or victim restitution. When registering, a person’s photo, full name, address, Social Security Number, Driver’s License Number, other license numbers, Employer’s Name and Address, Vehicle License Plate and Identification Number, Body Markings and Prior Offenses will be included in the Sheriff’s Database. All information, including social security numbers, is subject to the state’s public records laws. In addition to registering, every person who is convicted of the above crimes has:
  • A duty to report a change of address or face a 5th degree felony for failing to register 
  • A Ten-Year Enrollment Period whereby they will remain on the registry for ten years unless they petition for relief with a sentencing court 
  • A duty to report in-person to their County Sheriff’s office annually 

To petition an individual’s status on the registry, there are 1 of 3 mechanisms:
  1. A person who is sentenced to prison for a violent crime, must petition to be removed off the registry either before or at sentencing. The court where they will submit the petition to is the court that classifies the person a violent offender, typically the sentencing court. A court will either grant or deny the motion based upon the following:

    a. The individual was not the principal offender of the crime (Note: Individuals who are the primary perpetrators cannot petition for relief.)
    b. The person does not have prior violent offenses that indicate a propensity for violence
    c. The results of an ODRC assessment (e.g. ORAS) indicating high-risk of violence
    d. A person’s degree of culpability in the violent crime being considered by the court
    e. The public’s interest in having the person register as a violent offender or remaining free of VOD requirements 

  2. A person who has already been convicted of a violent crime but is serving time in a correctional institution must file a petition with their sentencing court and prior to their release from jail or the correctional institution. The court will consider the same factors as someone recently convicted of a violent crime and petitioning to not register as a violent offender. 
  3. An out-of-state violent offender must file a motion with the County Common Pleas Court in their resident county and at any time before their initial enrollment. 

Committees: House – Criminal Justice, Senate – Judiciary

Update to SB 231 “Sierah’s Law”
Any Social Security number, driver’s license number, or state identification number provided to the county sheriff by a violent offender or qualifying out-of-state offender is not a public record. In addition, an offender who has VOD duties imposed under the bill may file a motion with their county’s common pleas court to restrict access to their statements, information, photographs, fingerprints and other materials, if they fear making the information public could infringe upon their safety.

When filing a motion, a person with VOD REQUIREMENTS must clearly state the reason(s) they fear for their safety, identify each county in which the offender has enrolled or re-enrolled, and provide supporting materials. The court may grant the motion if it determines the offender’s safety concerns are valid. The law still holds a person who recklessly violates their VOD duties could be found guilty of a fifth-degree felony or re-incarcerated if they are serving a community control sanction. The bill amendments were concurred by the House and awaits the governor’s signature.

Title: SB 202: Enact Reagan Tokes Law-GPS Monitoring of Releasees
Status: Referred to Ohio Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee
Summary: Requires global positioning system (GPS) monitoring for individuals released from prison under such monitoring, and: specified inclusionary and exclusionary zones for those individuals; established system requirements for GPS monitors as set by DRC; a statewide database for law enforcement use that contains specified information about those on GPS monitoring; and, third-party contractors with DRC use a law enforcement-accessible crime scene correlation program. The bill also requires DRC to have an established reentry program for individuals who it intends to have reside, but who are not accepted, to a halfway house or similar facility. Lastly, the Adult Parole Authority must establish maximum workload and caseload standards for its parole and field officers, as well as have enough trained officers to comply with the standard. No information in the database is subject to the state’s public records laws.
Committees: Senate – Government Oversight and Reform

Title: HB 497: Prohibit Disseminating Private Sexual Images
Status: Passed Ohio House, Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee
Summary: The bill prohibits nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images with intent to harm the individual in the image. The bill makes the first dissemination offense a third-degree misdemeanor, a second offense a second-degree misdemeanor, and third or subsequent offenses a first-degree misdemeanor. Dissemination of private sexual images are allowed for specific law enforcement, medical, news, artistic or expressive purposes, or reporting unlawful conduct. The bill also precludes a university from punishing a victim of the above-mentioned crime by withholding financial aid or subjecting them to disciplinary action. Additionally, a victim can pursue civil relief against the perpetrator, but cannot hold certain third parties responsible for the image’s dissemination such as a mobile service provider, telecommunications carrier or an internet provider. Finally, a person accused of sharing the explicit image must give up all rights and claims to the image, as well as any financial compensation they may have received. This bill is nearly identical to SB 251.
Committees: House – Community Advancement, Senate – Judiciary 

Title: Ohio HB 405: Make Counterfeiting a Corrupt Activity Crime
Status: Passed, Effective 1/22/19
Summary: The bill creates the crime of counterfeiting, which is added to the definition of “corrupt activity.” Counterfeiting includes making, forging or altering currency or legal tender issued by the U.S. Treasury, including bills, coins, bonds or checks. The bill also outlines penalties for circulating, selling or purchasing counterfeit currency. Penalties range from a fourth-degree felony if the value of all currency and tender, as well as access devices and number of credit and/or debit cards, is less than $5,000 to a first-degree felony if devices, cards and currency is valued at $1 million or more.
Committees: House – Criminal Justice, Senate – Judiciary

Title: Ohio HB 296: Enhance Penalty if Drug Offense Near Addiction Services Provider
Status: Passed OH House, Introduced in Senate and Referred to Senate Committee
Summary: The bill enhances the penalties for trafficking any Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance, except marijuana, when the offense is within 1,000 feet of a community addiction services provider. “Within the vicinity” means on the premises of an addiction services provider, a facility licensed by the provider, or within 1,000 feet of the premises, when the offender knows the facility is a treatment center. The penalties for trafficking drugs near an addiction services provider is the same as offenses happening within the vicinity of a school or youth. The specific penalties vary based on the controlled substance and weight or amount of the compound. If signed into law, the bill will take effect in June 2019.
Committees: House – Criminal Justice; Senate – Judiciary

Title: Ohio SB 328: Prepay Postage for Return of Absentee Ballots
Status: Introduced into Senate on 9/25/18
Summary: The proposed bill will amend sections 3509.04, 3509.05 and 3511.04 of the ORC. A board of elections shall prepay absentee voters’ ballots if they are mailed or delivered to a voter, unless no postage is required. The Secretary of State shall reimburse each board for the expense of the prepaid postage, and all associated return postage costs. Prepaid postage envelopes shall extend to uniformed services and overseas absentee voters.
Committees: Senate Finance

Title: Ohio HB 411: Modify Wrongful Imprisonment Law
Status: Passed House, Referred to Senate Judiciary and Upcoming Hearings in Senate
Summary: The Senate has reported a substitute bill as follows. Unchanged by the bill is a two-step process for claiming damages of wrongful imprisonment against the state: The wrongfully convicted person must file an action in the common pleas court where they were first convicted, and if there is a preliminary factual determination of wrongful imprisonment, file an action in the Court of Claims. The claims court will determine the monetary award for the person’s wrongful imprisonment. To qualify as a “wrongfully imprisoned person,” there are certain criteria a person must satisfy. The bill changes four of these criteria, and they are: 1) The ability to apply for civil relief apply equally to people wrongfully convicted of misdemeanors, felonies or aggravated felonies; 2) the individual’s conviction was vacated, dismissed or reversed on appeal, and they do not have any pending criminal convictions for any act associated with the conviction; 3) The prosecutor, within a year after the date of the vacated conviction, has not sought any further appeal or has not levied charges for an act associated with the conviction. Additionally, the bill clarifies the criterion an individual must satisfy to be a “wrongfully convicted person” based upon a procedural error, such as a “Brady Violation” or not committing an offense. For these specific changes, please read the analysis.
Committees: Senate, Judiciary; House, Government Accountability and Oversight

Title: Ohio SB 251: Prohibit Nonconsensual Dissemination of Private Sexual Images
Status: Referred to Senate Judiciary and Upcoming Hearings in Senate
Summary: The bill prohibits nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images with intent to harm the individual in the image. Penalties vary from a third-degree to a first-degree misdemeanor, depending on a first or subsequent offense. Dissemination of private sexual images are allowed only for specific purposes such as a police investigation, reporting unlawful conduct, or for a lawful public purpose. Certain entities are not liable for the image’s dissemination such as an internet or mobile service provider, an interactive computer service or other telecommunications carrier. If convicted of unlawful dissemination, a person must forfeit all property related to the nonconsensual distribution. A victim may also seek civil relief against the offender. The bill also prohibits post-secondary institutions from penalizing a victim of nonconsensual dissemination by withholding financial assistance or subjugating them to disciplinary action. Similarly, licensing authorities may not penalize victims by revoking, or failing to renew, their license. The bill now excludes penalties against employers who fail to make reasonable accommodations, such as time off for mental health treatment, for victims of this crime.
Committees: Senate, Judiciary

Title: Ohio SB 290: Prohibit Theft of Telephone Number/Misleading Caller ID
Status: Referred to Senate Judiciary
Summary: The bill creates four new offenses: theft or conversion of a telephone number; theft of a telephone number or exchange against a person in a protected class; providing misleading call ID info; and providing misleading caller ID information against a person in a protected class. The first offense prohibits a person from causing a caller ID service to transmit a telephone number that is not assigned to them. The violation is classified as theft and is generally is a fifth-degree felony, but becomes a fourth-degree if the person is an elderly person, disabled adult, active duty service member or spouse of an active member. The second new offense which causes transmission of a false number for purposes of defrauding another person or to cause harm to the recipient is a fourth-degree felony and third-degree felony for the already mentioned protected classes. Persons who call from an “unknown” or “blocked” number and leaves a message with their identity cannot be punished under the bill.
Committees: Senate, Judiciary

Title: Ohio SB 1: Review drug laws
Status: Passed, Effective 10/31/18
Summary: Unchanged by the law, fentanyl remains a Scheduled II controlled substance under the narcotics-opiates subcategory. However, the law increases the penalty for drug trafficking and aggravated funding of drug trafficking for fentanyl-related compounds with additional mandatory prison terms of 3 to 8 years. Determining the bulk amount of a drug when mixed with fentanyl or a fentanyl-related compound was updated by the bill as well as a new possession sentencing provision. Amount of the drug involved, degree of offense and applicable sentencing range is included in the bill. Dosages of one to ten grams carry a minimum sentence of a Felony 4 or 5 charge, higher amounts carry heavier penalties and potentially longer periods of incarceration. More information is in the bill.
Committees: Senate Conference Committee on SB1, House Conference Committee on SB1, House Criminal Justice, Senate Judiciary

Title: Ohio HB 6: Prohibit Fees for Correcting Criminal Record Information
Status: Effective 1/18/18
Summary: The law prohibits a person engaged in publishing or disseminating criminal record information from soliciting or accepting payments for removing, correcting, modifying or refraining from publishing information. A violation of the law is a first-degree misdemeanor and the victim can be awarded specified damages, in addition to attorney’s fees, costs, and other remedies. The new law is a useful tool for repairing erroneous information.
Committees: Senate Judiciary, House Criminal Justice

Title: Ohio HB 347 - Modifying Civil and Criminal Asset Forfeitures
Status: Effective 4/6/17
Summary: The new law makes several changes to Ohio’s civil and criminal asset forfeitures. Most notable are the permission to file a civil forfeiture action under specified circumstances, and not sooner than specified periods of time after personal property has been seized by the state. A civil forfeiture complaint can only be filed if the property was seized with probable cause of its involvement in a felony commission or gambling offense and two other conditions. The law also eliminates the provision permitting a civil forfeiture action to begin regardless of whether the offender or delinquent child has pleaded guilty to, convicted of, or been adjudicated delinquent. Finally, the law prohibits an individual from possessing or retaining property subject to forfeiture proceedings and prohibits local law enforcement from transferring or referring property to federal enforcement agencies, unless the property value exceeds $100,000.
Committee: Ohio Senate Government and Oversight and Reform, House Judiciary

Title: Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018
Status: Pending
Summary: Farm Bill Amendment Would Ban SNAP for Formerly Incarcerated; A troubling amendment was adopted in the House farm bill. The amendment would impose a lifetime ban on SNAP for individuals convicted of certain violent felonies. The ban would apply regardless of when the crime was committed, sentence completion, and compliance with terms of release. It would also impact the families of the formerly incarcerated, by counting their income toward total household income when determining benefit levels. This could reduce total benefits to a household in need and led to the most vulnerable losing financial support.
Committees: House Committee on Agriculture and Senate Committees on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry

Title: Ohio House Bill 355 – Prohibiting Sexting if under 21 and Allowing for Diversion from Penalty 
Status: Referred to Senate
Summary: Ohio House Bill 355, an anti-sexting bill, was passed unanimously on June 27, 2018. The bill prohibits anyone under 19, if the offender is not more than four years older than the minor depicted in the material and the minor is older than 13, from creating, distributing or possessing sexually explicit digital material of a minor through a telecommunications device. Prosecutors have the option of charging teens and adolescents, anyone under 19, with a first-degree misdemeanor of “possessing sexually explicit digital material of a minor” instead of the more serious felony crime of child pornography or pandering sexually illicit material depicting a child. However, the individual must be a first-time offender, could not have been convicted of a previous sexual offense or accused of a more serious sexual crime at the time of prosecution. Prosecutors and judges are not precluded from charging an individual with a more serious crime if they deem it appropriate. Those charged and convicted of the first-degree misdemeanor possession crime must complete eight hours of community service, unless a judge imposes a different sentence. If a defendant has not been convicted of another sex offense, including other unlawful sexual actions or previously convicted of distribution of sexual material, they would be eligible for a diversion program in lieu of prosecution.
Committee: House Committee for Criminal Justice, Senate Judiciary

Title: Ohio Senate Bill 66 – Modifying Criminal Sentencing and Corrections Law 
Status: Passed
Summary: SB66 expands the purpose of felony sentencing to include effective rehabilitation of the offender in addition to its previous purpose of promoting public safety and punishing a convicted defendant. It also permits judges to recommend non-violent, fourth and fifth-degree felonies that are not sexual in nature for community control, such as treatment programs or halfway houses, instead of prisons and removes the minimum one-year term of incarceration. Other changes include allowing offenders convicted of non-violent and non-sex felonies of the fourth and fifth degree eligible for record sealing, so long as the number of felonies does not exceed more than five. Read more below:
  • A court may impose a new term of up to six months upon a parole or probationer as a penalty for violating a community control condition. The term can be served in a community-based correctional facility, jail or halfway house and may be in addition to any other post-release sanctions. The court may still specify the term should be served in a minimum-security jail if the offense is not one of violence or assault. 
  • Modifies how sentencing courts calculate confinement credits or the amount of days a prison sentence may be reduced for good behavior or participation in qualified prison programming. The bill now requires courts to include in their determination the total number of days the offender was confined for any reason arising out of the offense including pretrial detention, awaiting a competency examination, and inside of a juvenile detention facility but not awaiting transportation to a DRC facility. 
  • Modifies eligibility criteria and procedures for granting pre-trial diversion and intervention in lieu of conviction. 
  • Revises procedures for the Adult Parole Authority to grant a final release or terminate post-release control. 
  • Modifies the criteria for considering a prison term sanction for a post-release control violation.

Title: Ohio Safe Harbor Bill
Status: Passed
Summary:In June 2012, the Ohio Legislature passed House Bill 262, Ohio’s Safe Harbor Law. The statue raised the penalty for trafficking in persons from a second degree to first-degree felony with a mandatory prison term of 10 to 15 years. Additionally, sex traffickers were also required to register as sex offenders. Juvenile judges to hold hearings to determine if a minor was a victim of sex trafficking and gave procedural steps to temporarily set aside prostitution-related charges, and other crimes related to the person’s victimization, until the completion of the diversion program. Lastly, the bill created expungement provisions for victims of sex trafficking. Only some records were being expunged.

Title: Ohio Senate Bill 4 - Expand Expungement and Intervention for Sex Trafficking Victims
Status: Passed
Summary: After the passage of the Safe Harbor Bill, some courts interpreted the law to only allow three prostitution-based crimes. Primary sponsors of SB4, Senators Stephanie Kunze of Franklin County and Scott Oelslager of Stark County, drafted the legislation to standardize how courts were handling sex trafficking victims and expunging their cases. the bill, which becomes effective September 29, 2018, allows the court to expunge any crime other than murder, aggravated murder and rape. For more information, read the bill summary.