Facing a DUI charge in Ohio can be a difficult experience that could end in serious and permanent consequences without the help of an experienced DUI lawyer. In Ohio, any person caught driving with a BAC of .08% or higher will be charged with a DUI that will permanently be on their record. DUI convictions for people over 18 cannot be sealed either. If you or someone you know faces a DUI charge, seek legal representation from an experienced DUI lawyer.
Ohio Traffic Violation Point System
There is a common misconception regarding the duration of DUI charges on your criminal record, as many people believe that it is expunged after two years. However, this is not entirely true. Ohio’s traffic law operates with a point system, in which you accumulate a certain amount of points for each kind of Traffic Violation committed. In this case, a DUI is worth 6 points following the point system. After two years, those points will be wiped off your point record, but the DUI conviction will still be on your criminal record.
DUI convictions for drivers under the age of 18 have a different set of rules. According to Ohio State law, minors are considered juveniles and cannot be convicted of crimes. Instead, if a minor is charged with a DUI conviction, they will be adjudicated as unruly or delinquent. Six months after their case has been closed, their record can be sealed. This means that only government agencies and law enforcement have access to their record. It is essential you seek representation from a DUI lawyer even if the driver facing charges is a minor.
Once the minor’s record has been sealed, they can apply to have it expunged. Alternatively, they can wait five years or until they turn 23, at which point their record will be automatically erased.
Although all Ohio DUI convictions will stay on any adult’s record permanently, there are aggravating factors that will change the charges they face. DUIs are classified as misdemeanor DUI, felony DUI, aggravated DUI, and DUI aggravated vehicular homicide. In all cases, it is highly recommendable to seek legal representation from a legal team with experience in DUI cases.
Misdemeanor DUIs are the most common type in Ohio and do not typically face prison charges. A DUI is classified as a misdemeanor when it’s the driver’s first, second, or third time being caught driving under the influence. Misdemeanor convictions usually lead to high fines and license suspension.
Felony DUIs are Ohio’s most serious DUI offense and can lead to an extended prison sentence and a three-year license suspension.
Aggravated DUI offenses include other factors (e.g., driving with minors in the car, driving with a suspended license, a hit & run, injuring another person, etc.) that worsen the driver’s penalties.
DUI Aggravated Vehicular Homicide
Finally, DUI aggravated vehicular homicide is an offense that a driver can be charged with when driving under the influence results in the death of another person. This is a second-degree felony and its penalties can be very severe.
Contact an Ohio DUI Lawyer
Although a DUI cannot be expunged from your record, getting arrested for a DUI in Ohio does not necessarily result in a criminal record. If the charges are dropped, or you are found not guilty of the crime you were initially accused of, your arrest can be removed from your record. This is only a possibility with the help of an experienced DUI lawyer.
In any DUI case, the accused motorist must be accompanied and supported by an experienced legal team. If you are faced with a DUI charge, seek legal guidance from a DUI lawyer immediately. The Martinez Firm has a long and successful history of representing drivers charged with DUIs and will make sure your rights are defended.