Expunging a DUI in Cleveland, Ohio
Expunging a DUI in Cleveland,Ohio
The drunk driving laws in Ohio are commonly known as DUI, but specifically known as OVI which means 'operating a vehicle under intoxication'. In the state of Ohio,the method adopted for issuing a traffic ticket for violating DUI laws slightly differs from other states of US.In most of the states, for booking a culprit and issuing a traffic ticket for violating DUI laws, your BAC (Basic Alcohol Content) level in your blood and urine are tested through tests such as breathing test,blood test and urine test etc.Whereas in the state of Ohio,you are automatically issued with a traffic ticket for violating DUI laws, if you have committed an act of misdemeanor or felony,when you are driving a vehicle under intoxication.In other words, your bodily alcohol content level is immaterial for arresting you under the provisions of DUI laws of Ohio.
In the state of Ohio,you are said to have committed an act of misdemeanor when you are driving a vehicle rather erratically without observing the traffic rules and regulations under the influence of liquor or under intoxication.You are said to have committed an act of felony, when you are driving a vehicle rather erratically and dashed against a public building causing damages and loss of lives.Both are criminal offences,while the former invites a lesser degree of punishments and the latter, a higher degree of punishments.Both offences create a criminal record on the driving licenses of the concerned persons who commit such offences.
An act of misdemeanor or the act of felony committed for the first time invites lesser punishments varying between jail terms between 6 days and 180 days and fines,suspension of their license for a shorter duration and besides issuing certain corrective directions as to rehabilitation and counseling program etc and their repetition within the period of six years invites more stringent punishments such as jail terms, heavy fines and revocation of their license for a longer term etc,besides creating a criminal record of the punishments undergone by them.
But such criminal records create some long term impact on those persons who are punished for violating DUI laws in Ohio.Besides being a social stigma,they act as hindrance when their past records are verified by their prospective employers for background checks.
Hence in order to get those criminal records erased and to have a trouble free future,those people who are punished by the District Court of Ohio,embark upon a judicial process to expunge their criminal records through the same court.While expunging the criminal records of a person,the District Court of Ohio not only proceeds to seal the criminal records of the concerned person besides proclaiming him not guilty.
It is relevant to note that under the provisions of DUI laws of Ohio, those who are convicted by the court for imprisonment, say for a specific period of jail term are not eligible to expunge their criminal records and so their criminal records cannot be expunged.However,those people, who are fined, whose driving licenses are suspended for a specific period, who are directed by the court to undergo rehabilitation program or counseling etc can embark upon the process of expunging their criminal records. However,they can take steps for expunging their criminal records only after duly completing the directions and financial obligations of paying the fine etc as ordered by the court.Above all they must mobilize the requisite funds for meeting the expenses of the court and for paying a hefty sum towards legal fees to their attorneys before embarking upon the process of expunging their criminal records.Hence,the process of expunging the criminal records is always pricey.
But the people who wish to get their criminal records expunged in Cleveland,Ohio should approach an experienced attorney,preferably a local attorney, who is well versed in this process and an adept in interpreting the relevant codes of Ohio.
Once the proceedings seeking expunging your criminal records are over and if the District Court of Ohio is convinced that you have duly fulfilled your obligations as directed by the court for violating the provisions of DUI laws of Ohio,it may order for expunging and sealing your criminal records.It may also pronounce that you are not guilty and dismiss the complaint for violating DUI laws of Ohio against you.
Thus your criminal records created for violating the DUI laws of Ohio are expunged through the District Court of Ohio and they are permanently sealed and becomes part of the court record.They are no longer available for public.Now your legal position is that you stand at par with other people who have clean chits.The District Court of Ohio may take two months to issue appropriate orders for expunging your criminal records, besides informing it to the concerned police authorities and transport authorities etc.
However, after expunging your criminal records, if you are issued with a new traffic ticket for violating DUI laws of Ohio either for committing a crime of misdemeanor or felony, your old expunged criminal records will be taken into account by the District Court of Ohio to enhance your punishments.
Therefore, it is advisable that once your criminal records created for violating DUI laws of Ohio are duly expunged through a lengthy judicial process,you must be cautious and see that you do not lose the advantage gained by you through a costly judicial process.