With the rise of drunk driving enforcement, more and more individuals are finding themselves with a DUI (or OWI) conviction on their record. This can cause issues with a driver’s license, employment, and travel.
Therefore, I am frequently asked if I’m an expungement attorney, or if I have the ability to seal or expunge their criminal record. Unfortunately, expungement laws have made it very clear that the answer to this question is no.
Why Can’t I Expunge My DUI?
While some states consider DUI charges eligible for expungement, Michigan does not. According to MCL 780.621(3), a person may not set aside certain convictions on their record. Specifically, MCL 780.621(3)(d) states that a person may not expunge, “A traffic offense, including, but not limited to, a conviction for operating while intoxicated.”
Therefore, the Michigan Legislature has specifically chosen to exclude OWIs from those convictions that are eligible for expungement or record sealing. While the points assessed to your driving record will eventually go away, the conviction itself will not.
Is There Anything I Can Do to Lessen the Impact of a DUI?
Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to lessen the impact of an OWI conviction. Your OWI will cause at least SOME inconvenience in your life. However, remaining out of trouble is key to putting this in the past. As weird as it may sound, many people have OWI charges on their arrest records. Doctors, lawyers, CEOs, and politicians can all receive these charges.
While the initial shock may be tough, the sanctions will pass. As long as you only have one OWI on your criminal history, 99% of your life will return to normal within a year.
(Your ability to travel to Canada will be restricted for longer than 1 year. You will need to consult with an attorney to determine your eligibility.)
However, proving to an employer that you are trustworthy and safe will only occur with an extended period of remaining out of trouble. Many employers also appreciate and commend an employee who completes probation successfully.
Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Obviously, the easiest way to avoid these issues is to hire a criminal defense attorney today who can put you into a position to beat your OWI case. While criminal charge dismissals are never guaranteed, a first offense OWI will stay on your record for life. You should invest in a defense that gives you the best shot to beat the case.
While the end outcome might be a criminal conviction, you should at least give yourself the opportunity to fight. After all, if this is the only shot you have to keep this off your record, why not put all of your resources into it? For that reason alone, contact the Law Offices of Barton Morris for a free consultation.
If you are interested in getting other charges off of your record expunged, we can help. Our partner firm Cannabis Legal Group, alongside the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association, is holding expungement clinics for the general public in Detroit, Lansing and Pontiac for National Expungement Week 2019! Visit here for dates/times, pre-register your information for expungement and sign up to volunteer.
Christopher Urban graduated from Oakland University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. In addition to graduating Summa Cum Laude, Chris was awarded the Donald I. Warren Award for Academic Excellence throughout his time at the university. Upon graduation, Chris began working as Mr. Morris’ driver for court appointments to gain experience before law school. Chris was awarded the Dean’s Scholar Full Tuition Scholarship to Wayne State University. During his time in law school, Chris was a member of the Wayne State Law Mock Trial Team, being named Vice-Chairman his third year. He also worked in the Legal Advocacy for People with Cancer Clinic through Karmanos Cancer Center, providing legal services to low income individuals with cancer.
Chris brings a wealth of experience to the firm. He has performed numerous “ride-alongs” with the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department and the Sterling Heights Police Department. In addition, he was an intern at the Detroit DEA Field Office. Finally, he is a published author (Sexual Victimization: Then and Now. ISBN 978-1483308173). Chris has attended the NHTSA Field Sobriety Test Seminar and the Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) seminar.
Christopher is also a member of the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD). Chris is one of a select few attorneys in Michigan to be a part of this prestigious college. He has attended the Summer Seminar at Harvard Law School, which focused specifically on OWI defense trial tactics. Moreover, he is preparing to become board certified as an OWI attorney. The NCDD holds the only specialty certifying test in DUI Law under the American Bar Association.