According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, more than 1.3 million Ohioans have at least one drunken-driving arrest. While not every arrest results in a conviction, explaining an OVI arrest that appears on a pre-employment background check can be embarrassing – or worse yet may result in not getting the job.
Life After an OVI
Life after a driving under the influence arrest does move forward, but there are costs and consequences to keep in mind. More specifically, you may have to disclose prior DUI convictions or arrest on future job applications. However, what you must disclose, if anything, depends on the particular factors involving your charges, arrest, and, if applicable, conviction.
We understand your desire to forget you ever had a drunk driving arrest in your past, and move on it is important to understand what you’re required to disclose a job application.
Here’s what you should keep in mind when filling out a job application with an OVI/DUI in your past.
DUI Arrests in Ohio
When an officer cites or arrests you, you have entered the phase in which you are being charged with an offense. This phase exists regardless of whether you plead not guilty or not. But facing a charge for a DUI is not the same as having been convicted of this offense.
What Does the Application Ask?
Generally, you are only required to disclose a past DUI arrest on a job application if the application expressly asks about past arrests.
Remember a DUI arrest, even without a conviction, maybe on your record if an employer runs a background check on you. But, if the job application only asks about past convictions, then you should not feel compelled to provide information about a past arrest that did not result in a conviction.
How to Disclose a DUI Conviction
A DUI/OVI conviction in Ohio can be resolved one of two ways:
- You were found guilty by a jury or judge.
- You entered a guilty or no contest plea.
If either of these situations applies, you are required to disclose a DUI on a job application that asks for that specific information. If you fail to do so, you will be committing fraud, and at the very least, you could lose your job when the fraud is discovered.
Many Applications Asks About Felonies
In Ohio, DUI/OVI convictions exist under Ohio’s traffic code. Therefore, if a job application asks you if you have been convicted of a criminal offense, you can honestly answer “no.”
But some applications may only ask if you have ever been convicted of a felony. If your DUI conviction was a misdemeanor, you can also answer “no” on the application.
However, when asked if you had any criminal convictions, you must answer “yes” if you were ever convicted of a misdemeanor DUI.
How Long Do OVIs Stay On Your Record?
If it’s been a long time since your DUI arrest or conviction took place, you may think you’re safe to exclude it from your application. Keep in mind, Drunk driving convictions remain on your record permanently.
Some people say that DUI’s last 10 years, but third refers to Ohio’s “Look Back” period, but that applies to when a subsequent DUI counts as a prior offense.
Can DUIs Be Expunged?
Another point to understand regarding disclosing a DUI on a job application in Ohio is the matter of expungement. Certain offenses in Ohio are not eligible for expungement. One of these offenses is operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol (OVI).
Therefore, you cannot count on expungement in Ohio as a means of avoiding your responsibility to report a past DUI arrest or conviction on a job application that asks for such information.
Contact an Experienced Columbus OVI Attorney
The best way to avoid having to tell future employers about an OVI on your record is to avoid a conviction altogether. At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we have successfully defended thousands of people in Columbus against their OVI charges, and we can help you with your case.
Contact us today at (614) 500-3836 to set up a free case evaluation with an experienced Columbus DUI lawyer. If you need legal assistance, contact the Columbus criminal defense attorneys at our law firm today.