Few things can ruin an otherwise fun weekend faster than a stop for operating a vehicle while impaired. If your stop leads to an arrest and conviction, you may face some serious consequences. Your OWI record may also haunt you for the rest of your life.
Everyone deserves a second chance. If you have an OWI-related conviction on your record, you may be able to expunge it. According to reporting from the Washington Times Herald, the expungement process is a bit friendlier for those seeking it than it has been in the past.
Did your arrest lead to a conviction?
The easiest way to expunge an OWI matter is when your arrest does not lead to a conviction. This can happen because of dropped charges, an acquittal or for other reasons. Typically, you can request expungement of your arrest records a year after the incident. You may also seek an expungement if a judge vacated your OWI conviction.
When did your conviction occur?
If you have an OWI conviction on your record, you must wait a period of time before pursuing an expungement. The length of time you must wait, though, depends on the nature of the offense. If your OWI was a misdemeanor, the waiting period may be as short as five years. For more serious offenses, you may have to wait eight or even 10 years.
In Indiana, expungement is a legal process that requires following certain rules. Ultimately, though, if you are successful with your expungement request, you may be the only one who knows about your OWI arrest, conviction or both.