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Can a DUI Be Expunged?

Keys and BeerFor those unfamiliar with the term “expungement,” it basically means a court places a confidential seal over a former offender’s criminal record, essentially shielding its contents from most agencies and individuals. A DUI expungement can be extremely helpful to anyone looking to secure gainful employment or enroll in school, as these processes often entail a criminal background check.

However, not all offenses are eligible for expungement – and former offenders are out of luck when it comes to getting a DUI expunged in Ohio.

How does Ohio law define an ‘eligible offender’ for purposes of expungement?

Under Ohio Revised Code § 2953.31, an eligible offender is someone who has:

  • Only one felony conviction
  • Not more than two misdemeanors, or
  • Not more than one felony and one misdemeanor

This sounds promising because I have only had one DUI conviction. Does Ohio law consider me an ‘eligible offender?’

Unfortunately, no. O.R.C. § 2953.36 details several exceptions to the expungement laws, which include the following categories of crimes that a court will not expunge from one’s record:

  • Convictions carrying a mandatory prison term
  • Nearly all forms of sex offenses
  • Offenses involving violence
  • Any first or second degree felony, no matter the crime
  • “Traffic cases” involving “one or more violations of a law…governing the operation and use of vehicles” or “conduct of pedestrians in relation to vehicles,” which includes driving under the influence

Is there any hope for an expungement despite these exceptions?

DUI, or OVI, charge is not eligible for expungement no matter the circumstances – even if the offense involved a very low blood alcohol content or occurred several years ago.

Contact a Cincinnati, Ohio DUI/OVI attorney today!

To learn more about DUI/OVI defense, or to discuss your options in expunging a traffic ticket or minor misdemeanor, please contact a DUI attorney from The Farrish Law Firm, L.P.A. right away at 513-621-8700.