Drunk driving charges are some of Ohio’s most common criminal offenses. If you have been convicted or are facing DUI charges, you may be hoping to put the entire experience behind you and move forward with your life.
However, with a DUI conviction on your record, you could be dealing with considerable collateral consequences related to your case. Expungement may not be possible for those convicted of a DUI.
Is it Possible to Expunge a DUI / OVI in Ohio?
A DUI can be a negative charge to have on your permanent criminal record. Unfortunately, removing a DUI from a criminal record in Ohio is not so simple. In Ohio, most first-time, non-violent offenses can be removed from your criminal record through expungement.
Once a charge is expunged, the record is sealed to the public and shouldn’t appear on a criminal background check. What many people are shocked to discover, however, is that any offense related to driving under the influence cannot be expunged.
As such, any DUI conviction will stay on your criminal record for the rest of your life. Although it now won’t count against you in preventing the expungement of another non-violent would-be first offense, it cannot be sealed or expunged.
How to Keep an OVI Off Your Permanent Record in Cincinnati, Ohio
While an OVI conviction may not be possible to expunge, that doesn’t mean that a DUI arrest in Ohio automatically condemns you to a criminal record. If you are ruled not guilty of a crime or the charges are dismissed, you can always have an arrest removed from the record in Ohio.
This includes a DUI or an OVI arrest. If you are not convicted of the crime, the circumstances do not matter, as you are innocent until proven guilty—and you were not.
That’s why it’s so important to aggressively fight all OVI charges in Ohio. Regardless of the punishment, you don’t want a DUI hanging over your head as you apply for jobs and proceed throughout life.
With the help of an experienced Cincinnati DUI lawyer, you can successfully defend yourself against the OVI charges, and avoid a permanent criminal record from holding you back.
Fighting a DUI Conviction in Ohio
Since OVIs are not eligible for expungement in the state of Ohio, you must start working on your defense strategy as soon as possible. There are several possible ways in which you can go about defending yourself against the OVI charges against you.
Pretrial Diversion Programs
For example, in many cases, you may be eligible for a pretrial diversion program. Pretrial diversion is available for individuals who are first-time offenders or non-violent offenders. Your attorney may be able to work with the prosecutor to secure a spot in one of these programs.
You must be prepared to enter a plea of “guilty” or “no contest” before entering a pretrial diversion program.
Then, you will be required to meet the terms of the program. This might include completing a drug or alcohol treatment program, driver retraining, community service, probation, and other stipulations.
Once you complete the program, your record will be cleared, and you could move forward with your life. However, not everyone is eligible for pretrial diversion.
DUI Defense Options in Cincinnati, Ohio
Some of the potential defenses you might need to use to defend yourself in court include:
- Mistake of fact
- Lack of probable cause
- Unlawful stop
- Invalid chemical blood alcohol test results
- Police misconduct
- Procedural errors
How a Lawyer Can Help
Your OVI lawyer in Cincinnati can help you avoid the harsh penalties of a conviction. Not only can your attorney help you understand the severity of the charges you are facing, but we may be able to work with the prosecutor to help you enter a pretrial diversion program or obtain a plea agreement.
You do not want to rely on an overworked public defender to advocate for your freedom. Make sure you have an aggressive criminal defense attorney by your side who can help you keep your criminal record clear.
Reach Out to a DUI Lawyer in Cincinnati for Help Today
If you are facing drunk driving or OVI charges, you cannot rely on expungement post-conviction. It is important that you take action to clear your name of the charges against you so you can avoid having a DUI on your record forever. Get help from a powerful Cincinnati DUI lawyer at Luftman, Heck & Associates today.
Our firm proudly offers no-cost, risk-free consultations to individuals facing OVI charges across Cincinnati and surrounding cities. Take advantage of this opportunity today. You can reach us by phone at (513) 338-1890 or our secured contact form to schedule your confidential case review.