What Exactly Is An Expungement?

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What Exactly Is An Expungement?

I would first like to clarify that sealing a record and expungement are two different things. Both expungement and sealing make the person’s record invisible. Sealing a record places the record under seal, so that although most people will not be able to see it, the record still exists. What exactly is an expungement? Expungement actually physically destroys the record, so it no longer exists at all. In Ohio, people tend to call the process “expungement,” but in most cases, the person is applying to get a record sealed rather than expunged.

Expungement is rare, but it can be used in certain instances. For example, if a victim of human trafficking was charged with a crime as a result of that human trafficking, then that person can get their record expunged. Most people just end up having their record sealed. In that case, even though the record is sealed to most people, some agencies are always able to access a sealed record. It will still be available to most state professional licensing boards, employers for jobs working with children, Immigration and a few others. Those agencies will always be able to see that conviction.

How Does A Pardon Differ From Having The Record Sealed Or Expunged?

A pardon restores the civil rights the person might have lost when they were convicted of a crime and absolves the person of any legal consequences. Their right to vote, to serve on a jury, and their right to hold political office are all restored. It does not erase the records, so the record still exists. For example, any money or fines or restitution owed to someone are not forgiven because a person received a pardon. The pardon simply restores any rights they lost because of that conviction.

What Are The Long Term Benefits Of Sealing And Expunction?

First of all, it helps the person find a job. A lot of employers now run background checks and in todays competitive market the candidate may not get that job if there is a conviction on their record. If the record was sealed and the employer cannot see it, then there is far more opportunity for the person to move on with their life and get a good job.

Things, like going to school, educational opportunities or being in line for a promotion, could all be affected by the person having a conviction on their record. Sealing that conviction can alleviate that problem. It can also help protect the person’s general reputation if somebody from their family, friends or their neighborhood started to look at the court’s website, they would no longer be able to see the person’s record on that court’s website.

Who Is Be Eligible To File For An Expungement Or To Have A Record Sealed?

First, the offense itself must be sealable. First and second degree felonies and some other crimes are not. A person can have one felony and one misdemeanor sealed, two misdemeanors sealed, or any number of minor misdemeanors. In some cases, charges that occurred close in time may be considered as one single case.

A person applying to get a misdemeanor sealed must wait a year after the conclusion of any court involvement, meaning all fines have been paid, all community service completed, the person is off probation and there are no other cases pending in any other court for a year. For felonies, the waiting period is three years.

What Types Of Criminal Records Cannot Be Expunged?

First and second degree felonies cannot be sealed. Any crime with a mandatory prison sentence cannot be sealed. Crimes of violence cannot be sealed, with the exception of misdemeanor assault. Domestic violence, sex crimes, any crime with a child victim, OVIs and traffic cases are all ineligible for sealing. An OVI/DUI will be on a person’s record for life.

Does Expungement Apply To Just Convictions Or Arrests As Well?

If the person was never actually convicted, if they were arrested and charged but then found not guilty or their case was dismissed, the record of that arrest and charge can also be sealed. In that case, there is no waiting period, the person can apply immediately. There is no limit to the number of these that can be sealed, although it is ultimately up to the court to decide whether to grant the request.

What Is OVI?

OVI is Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated. Most people refer to them as DUI, Ohio just names them differently.

Visit our office for more information on what expungement is, or how sealing and pardons work, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (440) 394-0548 today.

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What Should Someone Do After They Are Arrested For Dui/ovi In Ohio?

Just like in a criminal case, people like to try to help themselves by trying to talk to the police. They will say, for example, “I only had a couple” or “I didn’t drink that many”, but what happens then is that statement “I only had a couple” comes into trial is they admitted to drinking.

It gets subtly shifted and it ends up hurting them. The best thing to do, just like in a criminal case, is just not make any statements without talking to an attorney.

Pleading Guilty Is Not The Best Approach Because You Always Want To Take The Chance To Try To Get A Better Resolution. There Are Many Cases Where You Can Work Out A Reduced Charge, Or Some Lower Punishment.

One Common Resolution To A Case, If It Is A First DUI With No Prior Criminal History, An Attorney Can Have It Reduced To Reckless Operation Or Called A Physical Control Which Is Being In Physical Control Of The Vehicle Under The Influence But Not Actually Driving Which Is No Points On Your License. It Is Not A Moving Violation And It Does Not Affect Insurance The Same Way. It Has A Much Better Result Than A Straight OVI. So You Always Want To At Least Take A Chance To Pursue Those Opportunities.

How Can An Attorney Help In Defending A DUI/OVI Case In Ohio?

The most common one is successive OVIs. Every OVI a person gets is added onto the last one. There is enhanced penalties for multiple OVIs within six years, also multiple OVIs within twenty years and at some point there are enhanced penalties for getting several OVIs in your lifetime.

They get more and more serious under the law, and even with an individual judge if you see that you are getting more OVIs, he is likely to give you a stiffer sentence than the minimum required by law.

Yes they can. There are a couple of basic ovis, one is for having a blood alcohol level below 0.08 or 0.17 and that is determined by a chemical test. If an officer believes that the person is impaired even without that reading, he can charge them with an ovi even if they blew a 0.06 or 0.05 just because he says they are impaired, even though that is a lower limit.

As mentioned earlier, alcohol affects everybody differently, some people may have a low level and feel it more, and some people may have a high level and think that they’re fine. So yes, there are spots where they will get an ovi with less than 0.08.

Do I have a case?

The most common method for testing BAC is a breathalyzer machine, many of which pose significant reliability problems. As an Ohio DUI defense attorney, Matthew Bangerter handles all matters related to the defense of your drunk driving charge, including challenging the reliability of breathalyzer equipment used, appearing in criminal court as your advocate, and negotiating with the prosecution to obtain a reduced sentence. As a skilled Ohio DUI attorney, Matthew Bangerter understands the Ohio drunk driving laws and he will strive to obtain a dismissal or reduction of charges against you, as well as the minimum available penalty. He understands that maintaining your driving privileges is of the utmost importance so he will seek to minimize or avoid any suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.

Ohio DUI Penalties

Ohio has some of the strictest penalties for DUI/OVI in the country. Penalties for DUI/OVI can be severe, even for a first offense. If convicted, you could face license suspension, hefty fines, vehicle disablement, required OVI offender license plates, ignition interlock, and mandatory jail time. If you test over the legal limit or fail to submit to a breath alcohol test you face a mandatory minimum Administrative License Suspension (ALS) unless you correctly appeal the suspension.

Aside from court-mandated penalties, your insurance premiums will likely increase and drunk driving charges can do significant harm to your reputation. Court-imposed driving limitations may also impact your ability to get to and from work as well.

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