Skilled Representation Tailored To Your Needs

How long does an OVI stay on your record in Ohio?

On Behalf of | May 6, 2024 | OVI Defense

When an offense for operating a vehicle while under the influence is on one’s driving and criminal records, it can drastically alter that person’s life. For instance, an OVI can significantly hinder eligibility for certain scholarships, as well as affect career prospects and professional licensing.

Therefore, drivers should understand the full impact of this charge and how long it could stay on one’s record.

Standard OVI rules for adults

When an adult gets convicted of an OVI in Ohio, it stays on that individual’s criminal record permanently. Any future background checks will display the offense.

On the driving record, an OVI conviction remains visible for a lifetime as well. This can lead to higher insurance costs and might limit job prospects, especially for positions that require a clean driving record.

The look-back period

Ohio law also includes a “look-back” period for OVI offenses. Currently, this timeframe is at least 10 years, but it can be longer in certain types of cases. The look-back period is important to understand because it determines how previous OVIs affect any new charges.

If someone gets a new OVI within 10 years of the first one, the penalties are more severe because the state considers the new violation a repeat offense. This could mean longer jail time, bigger fines and a longer suspension of the driver’s license.

Rules for younger drivers

How long an OVI stays on a young person’s record can vary. A juvenile has the right to ask for the sealing of OVI records six months after the case ends. Sealing a record means only certain government agencies or police can see it.

After sealing the record, the young person can ask for the state to erase the conviction as if it did not happen. This is the process of expungement. However, if a young person does not seal or expunge their record, it will automatically clear after five years or when they turn 23, whichever comes first.

Clearly, an OVI charge in Ohio is something that sticks with a driver. This serves as a reminder of the seriousness of drinking and driving and the long-term effects such actions can have. At the same time, it highlights the value of putting up a strong defense against charges that can dramatically change a person’s life.