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Can you remove an OWI from your criminal and driving records?

Can you remove an OWI from your criminal and driving records?

In Indiana, Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated (OWI), commonly called a DUI in other states, can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances surrounding the offense. An OWI on your criminal record can harm your ability to find work, housing, or move on from a difficult chapter of your life. An expungement can remove an OWI from both your criminal and driving records.

Indiana law allows misdemeanors to be removed from your records 5 years after your most recent conviction. Most felonies can be expunged 8 years after your most recent conviction. To remove a conviction from your records, you must meet several requirements. First, you cannot have any charges pending against you. Second, you must have paid all fines, fees, court costs, and satisfied any restitution obligations placed on you as a part of your sentence. Third, you cannot have had any other criminal convictions within the last 5 years. If a court finds that you have met all these requirements, then your conviction may be expunged from both your criminal and your driving records.

There is one important fact to keep in mind. If you were to get another OWI after your first OWI was expunged, then a prosecutor may use that in sentencing you for that new offense. Therefore, repeated OWIs can still lead to a harsher sentence. Repeated OWIs could also still lead to a license suspension even after expungement.

There are many benefits to getting your OWI expunged. Employers, landlords, banks, and deans of admissions will not be able to see your expunged OWI on your record. This benefit can help your job search, college application, or your search for a new home.
If you have more questions about how to expunge an OWI and to discuss whether you qualify for an expungement, contact McNeelyLaw today. Call us at 317-825-5110 to talk to an experienced Indiana Criminal Defense attorney who can help you navigate the expungement process.

This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.

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