Does getting a traffic citation expunged completely erradicate the file?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Does getting a traffic citation expunged completely erradicate the file?

I am 19 years old and recently received my first speeding ticket. I was traveling 24 miles over the speed limit 94 in a 70 mph zone. Although I can’t legally justify it, I was traveling at such a high speed because I was trying to go visit my goddaughter 18 months old who was in critical condition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Should I take this case to court or not? Can I get my record expunged without going to court and if so, does it mean the file and points are completely removed meaning no person/company can access them if they were to run a background/motor vehicle check? How long does the process take to get a file expunged?

Asked on December 29, 2016 under General Practice, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

1) You MUST appear for court--you cannot deal with this without appearing. If you don't appear, you will lose automatically and face the full points and fine and any other consequences.
2) As you correctly note, you have no legal defense, but with a sympathetic story and a otherwise clean record, if you meet with the prosecutor on the trial date (show up early to make sure you have the chance) there is a small chance he or she will choose to dismiss and a much larger change he or she will let you plead to a lesser offense (e.g. fewer miles over the limit).
3) A fully dismissed traffic charge can be expunged, and you can get the information and forms on how to do so from a court clerk. But if you are convicted or plead guilty to even a lesser traffic offense, you cannot expunge it in your state.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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