If you have been charged and convicted of Operating Under the Influence (OUI) in Massachusetts, you are likely already aware of the serious impact that this arrest can have on your life — socially, professionally, and financially. What you may not realize is that these charges will follow you around for the rest of your life, because in Massachusetts it is extremely hard to have these charges removed from your record. There are a few options, however, that you may be able to pursue in very specific situations that can either obscure these charges or erase them entirely.
The first option is to seal your record, which simply keeps anyone from viewing these charges on a CORI check. The charges do not go away, and government officials will still be able to see all details of this mark on your record, but it may help to keep people from privately uncovering this blemish on your past. However, sealing your record does not completely remove any record of the arrest or the charges.
Expunging a crime is the act of completely erasing all records of the incident from the state records. This means that, essentially, if you were arrested and charged with a crime and then that crime was expunged, it would be as if it had never happened. The options for expungement are few, and the likelihood of it being approved for an OUI are exceedingly rare.
How to Have an OUI Expunged in Massachusetts
If you believe that you fall into one of these following instances, or would like to figure out other options that may reduce the impact that your charges and criminal record are having on your life, you should speak with an OUI Attorney as soon as possible. Even if expungement is not your best, or most realistic, option, they may be able to help you navigate the rest of the available choices you have.
If You Are a Victim Of Identity Theft
Essentially, the best chance you have of getting the court to approve your OUI charges being expunged from your record is if someone had stolen your identity, and was arrested while using your information. In this instance, you clearly were not the one who was arrested for OUI, and therefore it is reasonable to ask the state to clear this issue up for you. In this case, the courts would change your name on the arrest records.
If You Are Charged With OUI As a Juvenile
If you are charged with an OUI as a juvenile, there is an extremely small chance that you may be able to have your record expunged, but it is highly unlikely. You can speak with an attorney about what they believe is the best option, but in the case that you have OUI charges on your juvenile record, you may have a better chance of having your record sealed.
Requesting an Expungement in Massachusetts
If you believe that you are in one of the extremely rare situations where expungement is an option, speak with an attorney as soon as possible. You may submit your request to the state of Massachusetts, but it is extremely important that you understand that your request is not guaranteed to be approved under any circumstance. Your best chances will be if you are working with an attorney and if you fall into a rare category where your request will be deemed valid by the state.