Columbus DUI Record Sealing Attorney
DUI Convictions Create a Permanent Record in Ohio
In Ohio, DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or OVI (Operating a Vehicle Impaired) convictions are serious offenses with lasting consequences. Under Ohio law, DUI convictions, including a first-time offense, cannot be expunged from a person’s criminal record. This permanence means that DUI convictions are visible to employers, landlords, and during background checks, potentially affecting job opportunities, housing, and loan approvals.
Therefore, it is particularly important that if you have been charged with a DUI/OVI in Columbus, Ohio then you should contact an experienced OVI attorney to ensure that you do everything possible to avoid a DUI conviction and the lasting harm it causes. To effectively deal with a DUI, call Luftman, Heck & Associates at (614) 500-3836 for a free and confidential case evaluation.
Record Sealing & Expungements in Ohio
Some criminal convictions can be sealed and removed from your record. For instance, expungement is a process by which the court file relating to a person’s criminal conviction is sealed and all public records or references relating to the conviction are deleted.
Under Ohio law, someone who is seeking his or her court record sealed must file an application with the court in which he or she was convicted and sentenced to have his or her criminal record sealed. A judge then rules on this request. If the judge grants the request, the records related to the applicant’s criminal history are deleted from the public record and the court file from the applicant’s conviction(s) are sealed.
The sealing process itself means that the records from the applicant’s criminal conviction are physically removed from the general court records and no longer are available to the public. Once the record is sealed, the record of your conviction will not show up on background checks.
Are DUI Expungements Available in Ohio?
No. Unfortunately, Ohio law specifically prohibits the expungement of DUI convictions. Expungement, typically a process where court files and public records of a conviction are sealed or deleted, is not applicable for DUI offenses in Ohio. This means that a DUI conviction remains part of the public record indefinitely, impacting various aspects of an individual’s life.
Therefore, if someone is convicted of a DUI in Ohio, then the record of that conviction can never be sealed. It remains in the public record permanently, no matter the consequences to that person in terms of lost job or other opportunities which may result from having such a conviction on the person’s record.
Ohio Has a Habitual OVI Offender Registry
Ohio also has a separate registry which it keeps for those who have been convicted of multiple DUI offenses. This list is known as the Habitual OVI Offender Registry.
If a person has been convicted of 4 or more DUI charges over the past 20 years and is charged with and convicted of a fifth DUI offense within that 20-year time frame, then in addition to whatever criminal punishment he or she may receive, his or her name, date of birth, home address, and details regarding each of the person’s DUI convictions will appear on the registry. This information is available to any member of the public who wishes to search for it. A person stays on the registry until he or she no longer has the requisite five convictions over the past 20 years.
How to Reduce the Impact of a DUI Conviction Without Expungement
Since DUI convictions in Ohio cannot be erased from your record, it’s crucial to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. This attorney can fight on your behalf if you’re facing charges for driving under the influence. The importance of this legal support is amplified by the far-reaching consequences that come with a DUI conviction.
Employers and landlords commonly conduct background checks before making job offers or leasing properties. Discovering a DUI on your record could lead them to reconsider their offers. A DUI conviction can thus have profound effects on your employment and housing opportunities, extending well beyond the direct legal penalties of the conviction itself.
Therefore, having a competent defense attorney can help you navigate and potentially reduce these long-term impacts. By effectively challenging DUI charges, your attorney can work to prevent the conviction from occurring in the first place, safeguarding your future against these extensive repercussions.
Contact Luftman, Heck & Associates to Protect Your Record
The Columbus defense attorneys of Luftman, Heck & Associates have represented thousands of Ohio drivers who have been pulled over for, arrested, and charged with a DUI. At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we are aggressive attorneys who understand the consequences of having a DUI conviction on your criminal record that can never be expunged.
If you’re faced with this difficult situation, call Luftman, Heck & Associates today at (614) 500-3836 for a free and confidential consultation. We review if your charges are eligible for expungement or record sealing if convicted. But if you are charged with DUI/OVI, we’ll review the possibility of getting the charges dismissed to protect you from the lasting harm of a conviction.