EXPUNGING A DISMISSED TRAFFIC TICKET FROM YOUR RECORD
Traffic offenses are usually not eligible for expungement. If you have previously pled or been found guilty of a traffic violation like a speeding ticket, a stop sign ticket, or a marked lanes ticket, you are not eligible for expungement in Ohio. Traffic violations can create problems in getting a commercial license, driving for Uber, and can cause your insurance rates to go up.
But some drivers can run into these issues even if they went to court and had their charges dismissed or dropped. Luckily Ohio allows for expunging these dismissed traffic cases so that the charges do not show up on a search of LEXIS-NEXIS, court websites, or BMV traffic background checks.
Ohio Revised Code Section 2953.52 allows for someone to apply to have their dismissed or dropped traffic cases expunged from their record.
Our attorneys regularly help clients get dismissed traffic tickets off of their records so that they can have a clean record when applying for jobs or promotions.
HOW LONG DO YOU HAVE TO WAIT TO FILE FOR EXPUNGEMENT AFTER THE CHARGE IS DISMISSED?
You can apply to have the dismissed case immediately after it is dropped.
HOW DOES THE COURT DECIDE WHETHER TO ALLOW THE EXPUNGEMENT?
The court will determine if your need to have the case expunged outweighs keeping the record open to the public. If a charge is affecting your ability to find work and there are no other extenuating circumstances, courts will usually order the charge be expunged.
A LOOPHOLE IN OHIO LAW MAY ALLOW FOR EXPUNGING TRAFFIC CONVICTIONS
In many traffic stops, an officer will often cite a driver with two or more violations. An officer could cite someone for speeding, see that they have expired tags, and cite them for that well. The two offenses must arise from the “same act” in order to be eligible to have the record sealed. The “same act” means the offenses must share a common act or element. In the Matter of the Application of K.J., Franklin App. No 13 AP-1050.
If someone goes to court with two or more traffic charges and pleads guilty to one of them and the rest are dismissed, then that person could apply to have all the charges expunged one year after the conviction date.
- An Uber driver is cited with a speeding ticket and a marked lanes ticket, if he is ultimately found guilty of a speeding offense and the marked lanes charge is dismissed, the driver is eligible to have the entire record sealed under Ohio Revised Code 2953.61;
- An Amazon driver is charged with Driving Under Suspension and No Operators License, and pleads guilty to Driving Under Suspension and the remaining charge is dismissed. The driver would be eligible to have the record sealed under Ohio Revised Code 2953.61;
- A young driver was cited for reckless operation of a motor vehicle because he was traveling over 100mph on the highway. The officer also cited him for the speed. His family’s insurance would certainly increase because of the high rate of speed. Because he plead guilty to speed and the reckless operation was dismissed, he would be eligible to have the record expunge one year after the conclusion of the case under Ohio Revised Code 2953.61.
IT MAY ALSO BE POSSIBLE TO EXPUNGE A CASE THAT STARTED AS AN OVI, IF THE OVI WAS LOWERED TO A LESSER CHARGE
Ohio law states that OVI convictions are not eligible to be sealed or expunged. But it is very important to explore all possible defenses to avoid an OVI conviction. An OVI reduced to Reckless Operation under Ohio Revised Code 4511.20 may be eligible under the right circumstances. For example:
- A driver is cited for OVI and a Marked Lanes offense. If his charged is reduced to Reckless Operation and the Marked Lanes offense is dismissed, the driver is eligible to have the record sealed under Ohio Revised Code 2953.61.
The BMV and court websites can show that a lowered case still started out as an OVI, and that can make it very difficult to drive for companies like Uber or Lyft. It can also make it difficult to obtain a driving job if you have a commercial license or CDL. Having the charges expunged can help to remove the charges from BMV background checks, court websites, and data bases like Lexis-Nexis.
Written by Anthony Iori, Esq.