News and Updates
November 2, 2018:
This week, two new Ohio laws were passed that will ultimately benefit those on the roads and those who wish to clear past criminal records; “Distracted Driver” and new “Eligible Offender” requirements for sealing or expunging a criminal record.
“Eligible Offenders: Sealing/Expunging A Record”:
Under the previous sealing/expungement law, only one felony case and one misdemeanor case could be sealed or no more than two misdemeanor cases. The new law extends that amount to UNLIMITED misdemeanor cases sealed and up to FIVE (5) felony cases sealed, truly helping those trying to clear past records. The law requires, however, that the felony cases to be sealed must not be higher than a fourth (4th) or fifth (5th) degree felony, must not be an act of violence, and must not be a felony sex offense. A person applying for an expungement/sealing of a case who has convictions in other jurisdictions must also follow these requirements. To see the section in the Ohio Revised Code, click here.
On Monday, October 29, 2018, a new law defining “distracted driver” was put into effect, allowing law enforcement to add an additional fine of $100.00 if the violation was caused due to a distraction. This law was passed in hopes of deterring distracted driving, since accidents caused by a distraction are most common and happen frequently. The revised code defines distracted as: “using a handheld electronic wireless communications devise”; “engaging in any activity that is not necessary to the operation of a vehicle and impairs, or reasonably would be expected to impair, the ability of the operator to drive the vehicle safely”. This could include texting, adjusting the radio, eating, applying makeup, etc. Although there is a $100.00 additional fine with this violation, there is the opportunity to have this fine waived by taking an online distracted driver course provided by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. This test can be accessed at the website: https://www.drivertraining.ohio.gov/ and clicking the link “Courses/Programs”. To get the fee removed, you would need to complete the course, print out your completion certificate, and submit it to the Barberton Clerk of Courts office before paying your ticket in entirety. To see the law in the Ohio Revised Code, please click here.