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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

Posted

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.

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Posted

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.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you Jared for the advice. I will be sure to pursue the avenue of lobbying the legislature to allow for OWI expungement. I should have fought the last OWI in Kent County, paid big bucks for an attorney, who insisted on accepting a plea bargain as opposed to exposing the injustices perpetrated by the Michigan State Police and Kent County jail officials. At 24 years old I was so afraid of the threat of imprisonment, I chose what I was led to believe was the best choice at the time. Who knows maybe I'll go to law school after I finish graduate school and take a stand for those who have been so mistreated by the system.

Jared Clayton Austin

Jared Clayton Austin

Posted

I wish you well in your endeavors.

Posted

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. www.DriveLegal.com

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John E. Melton

John E. Melton

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www.DriveLegal.biz

Asker

Posted

Employment issues are just the tip of the iceberg. My belief is that I have paid for my crime and yet am still imprisoned by the constraints of the system. It is fundamentally flawed and ultimately unconstitutional in my eyes. Unfortunately overzealous legislatures, have enacted laws that do far more to disenfranchise people than ever rehabilitate them. I will ultimately get this conviction eliminated because I will not stop, I will do whatever it takes to fight this excessive punishment for a crime I took accountability for. What you seem to propose is giving up. I will petition, inconvenience, whatever to ensure my voice is heard and my rights fully restored. I'm not alone 1 in 3 under the age of 23 will be convicted of a crime other than a traffic offense according to the journal of pediatrics, POLICE STATE!

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