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Ohio ILC

Intervention in Lieu of Conviction


ILC - Intervention in Lieu of Conviction

Simply put, if alcohol or drugs are involved, a defendant may apply for intervention, complete the program, and have his or her record sealed.  For many defendants, this is a great opportunity to keep their record clean.

Intervention in lieu of conviction is established in the Ohio law (R.C. 2951.041 and R.C. 2951.041(A)(1)):

If an offender is charged with a criminal offense * * * and the court has reason to believe that drug or alcohol usage by the offender was a factor leading to the criminal offense with which the offender is charged * * *, the court may accept, prior to the entry of a guilty plea, the offender’s request for intervention in lieu of conviction.

The Ohio Supreme Court, in State v. Massien, 125 Ohio St.3d 204, 2010-Ohio-1864, 926 N.E.2d 1282, explained ILC in this way:

ILC is a statutory creation that allows a trial court to stay a criminal proceeding and order an offender to a period of rehabilitation if the court has reason to believe that drug or alcohol usage was a factor leading to the offense. R.C. 2951.041(A)(1).  * * *

“In enacting R.C. 2951.041, the legislature made a determination that when chemical abuse is the cause or at least a precipitating factor in the commission of a crime, it may be more beneficial to the individual and the community as a whole to treat the cause rather than punish the crime.” State v. Shoaf (2000), 140 Ohio App.3d 75, 77, 746 N.E.2d 674. * * * [For that reason,] ILC is not designed as punishment, but rather as an opportunity for first-time offenders to receive help for their dependence without the ramifications of a felony conviction. State v. Ingram, Cuyahoga App. No. 84925, 2005-Ohio-1967, 2005 WL 977820,

Sealing of the record after completion

The section of the ILC statute that deals with the sealing of records, R.C. 2951.041(E), provides:

If the court grants an offender’s request for intervention in lieu of conviction and the court finds that the offender has successfully completed the intervention plan for the offender, * * * the court shall dismiss the proceedings against the offender.  Successful completion of the intervention plan and period of abstinence under this section shall be without adjudication of guilt and is not a criminal conviction for purposes of any disqualification or disability imposed by law and upon conviction of a crime, and the court may order the sealing of records related to the offense in question in the manner provided in sections 2953.31 to 2953.36 of the Revised Code.

In State v. Niesen-Pennycuff, 132 Ohio St.3d 416, 2012-Ohio-2730, the Ohio Supreme Court said that the sealing may be by order of the court, without application, or with application.  There may or may not be a waiting period.  These factors are decided by the court handling the ILC.