Operating a vehicle while under the influence (OVI) of drugs or alcohol is a serious offense in Ohio. And the laws have only gotten more strict. Unfortunately, many people come to attorneys only after they’ve been convicted, wanting to know their options for getting an OVI removed from their record.
Removing Ohio OVIs
Like most states, you can be charged with OVI in Ohio if you are driving with a BAC of .08% or higher. For drug-related OVIs, the methodology is more complicated. Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.19 outlines the concentration level of various drugs.
In Ohio, anyone under 18 is considered a juvenile. Juveniles are not convicted of crimes, rather, they are adjudicated as unruly or delinquent. If your son or daughter happens to be found guilty of OVI before they turn 18, there is good news.
Six months from the conclusion of their case, they can have their OVI record sealed. This means it will only be available to government agencies or law enforcement.
Once your child’s record has been sealed, they can then apply to have it expunged. This means that the conviction will be removed as if it never occurred. A juvenile record will automatically be expunged after five years, or when a child turns 23 – whichever happens first.
A juvenile OVI charge can have a number of implications, especially when it comes to college applications. An experienced lawyer can not only defend your son or daughter against the OVI but also help with the sealing and expungement process.
Adult OVI Convictions
OVI convictions for people over 18 cannot be sealed or expunged.
Drunk driving remains on your record permanently. This is why it’s so important to contact an experienced lawyer ASAP if you’ve been charged. The implications of a conviction will follow you for the rest of your life.
Penalties for an OVI conviction include incarceration, fines, installation of an ignition interlock device, issues relating to employment, difficulty finding housing, and more.
Ohio’s OVI Look Back Period
Ohio extended its “look-back period” in 2017 from six to 10 years. This means that if you are charged with OVI, an OVI conviction within the last 10 years will be considered a prior offense.
As a result, you face much harsher penalties than if this was your first drunk driving charge.
Contact an OVI Lawyer
Charges for driving under the influence are prosecuted aggressively, and you should not expect any leniency even if you cooperate or own up to your error. If you’ve been charged with OVI, don’t wait until you’re convicted – reach out to a defense attorney for help right away.
At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we have decades of combined experience helping clients in Central Ohio, and we’re prepared to assist you.