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Is there any course of action to take to remove a felony OWI third from my record?

Grand Rapids, MI |

I received 3 OWIs, resulting in a felony conviction, first in 2002 at 17. During this time period , I graduated from college and gained full-time employment. After receiving the OWI third, I quit drinking and have maintained sobriety. In that time I have received early release from probation and graduated with a bachelor's degree. I have put forth every effort to better myself, to no credit to the state of Michigan, I have become a reformed person. Expungement is not an option, can I appeal a prior OWI for a new result, challenge the constitutionality using the 8th amendment, draft legislation for introduction to the legislature, etc? I am desperate, the stigma, employment issues and loss of gun rights for a non-violent offense seems excessive. I am looking to hire someone if competent.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    I understand your OWI 1 conviction was in 2002 but when was your OWI 3 conviction? You may be able to regain some of your gun rights even though you cannot set aside any of the OWI convictions.

  2. You have correctly noted that OWIs, like all driving offenses, are not eligible for expungement. There is really no other way to challenge or change the conviction unless there was evidence that the officer that arrested you or the officers that conducted the chemical test determining your blood alcohol level was somehow fabricated, which has happened recently and some states. Outside that, there is no way to remove it either from your criminal record or your driving record. You can always lobby your state legislature to amend the expungement statute to allow for OWIs to be expunged like they can be in some states. Other than that, you will have to find other ways to demonstrate rehabilitation to your future employers or to prove to them that you no longer have any substance abuse problems. Perhaps an up-to-date substance abuse evaluation would help. Also, the longer you distance yourself with time from the conviction will also help.

  3. You may be able to petition for restoration of your gun rights, but you will not be able to get this conviction erased. I have had plenty of clients in this situation. It is difficult, but employers often will give a reformed person a chance-if they are convinced that the issue is in the past.

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