A few weeks ago, my friend and I went to court in Akron, Ohio to have a DUI conviction overturned.
We were both arrested on the spot for DWI, and both pleaded guilty to simple driving while intoxicated.
My friend, who has a history of drug abuse, had a suspended driver’s license, and I had an outstanding warrant.
I was also arrested for a DUI while driving a vehicle, which I have since been able to get my license back.
I’m grateful for the court’s decision, but not so grateful for what it means for my chances at a clean car record.
If you’re wondering why, you’re not alone.
A 2014 study from the American Automobile Association found that DUI convictions can cost a driver their license and insurance premiums in the region of $8,800, depending on the type of DUI and how severe the offense was.
And the costs don’t stop there.
According to a 2015 study from AAA, when drivers are charged with multiple violations in a single day, their chances of receiving a DUI hearing drop by 40%.
In fact, a 2015 survey from the National Institute of Justice found that when drivers have a conviction for driving while impaired, the odds of them receiving a hearing drop 80%.
So how can you get your DUI cleared from your record, and still have your license reinstated?
One way to get your license back is to have the judge decide if you’re eligible for a new driver’s record.
The problem with that is that it can be very difficult to get that decision overturned, particularly if your past conviction is already expunged from your driving record.
But a new lawsuit filed in Akron Municipal Court on behalf of three Akron drivers says there are steps you can take to get the DWI charge expunced from your vehicle record.
The lawsuit alleges that when the Akron Municipal Courts (AMC) overturned our DWI conviction, it violated the Ohio Revised Code, which requires that “convictions of misdemeanor offenses, such as simple DWI are not to be expunished by a court.”
The Akron Municipal Circuit Court is one of three AMCs in the state, and in December 2017, the Akron Appeals Court ruled in favor of the drivers.
The Akron Appeals court noted that the code of law in Ohio is written to provide for the expedited removal of DWI convictions.
But the Akron Circuit Court noted that while a “definite record expungement order” is a procedure that may be used to “set aside” a DUI case, there is no such requirement for “a conviction expunging order.”
This was enough to make us feel that we could have gotten our DUI conviction expunted, but we weren’t sure if it would have made a difference.
Fortunately, the AMCs lawsuit is an interesting case.
The case involved a defendant who was driving while drunk and had his driver’s licenses suspended by the AMC.
That suspended license was later reinstated, and he is now free to drive again.
We’re happy that the Akron AMCs decision was overturned, but the ruling isn’t perfect.
As the Akron AmCs attorneys explained, the code prohibits the AMs from having any “statutory requirement” on their court system, meaning that the ruling is not binding on the AM’s local court system.
In other words, the AmCs is not obligated to follow the Akron code, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Furthermore, the court stated that if a conviction is expunched by the court, “the conviction may not be reinstated, even if the conviction was expunzed from the original case.”
But if you need help with your DUI case in the Akron circuit, you can always ask the AMS for an expungements hearing.
To get your case expuntered from your driver’s records, you must: 1) Make a statement to the AMI that you wish to appeal the DWII charge.
2) Show the court your current driver’s licensing information, including any convictions, suspensions, and expulsions.
3) Have your driver license expunhed from your records.
4) Provide a written declaration from the Akron Attorney General’s office that you have the correct information.
5) Provide the court with the following documents, including your original court records, and your original letter of expungment.
6) Be prepared to provide evidence of your DUI conviction and the date on which it was expunged from your previous records.7) Show that your driving history was cleared from all the previous charges in which you have been charged with driving while suspended.
8) Give the court an opportunity to consider your written statement.
9) Present a letter from the Attorney General, in which he or she states that you agree to the order.
10) Provide your name, address, phone number, and