DWI / Drunk Driving / DUI Criminal Record Expungement
What is a DUI Expungement?
DUI / DWI / Drunk Driving expungement aka criminal record sealing & post conviction relief. A legal process whereby a persons criminal record is altered in a favorable manor. The main benefit of expungement is the ability to withhold any expunged convictions from potential employers.
Adults who are convicted of a criminal offense such as DWI / Drunk Driving / DUI can apply to have that offense expunged (sealed), usually after a year and as long as their is no other criminal convictions outstanding.
Upon a successful expungement, convicted persons can lawfully treat arrests and/or convictions for the expunged offense as if they never happened in most circumstances. This allows a defendant to make applications to schools, jobs and for professional licenses while being able to say they do not have any criminal convictions.
In effect it gives a person a 'clean slate' and a 'new start', helping them put their past mistakes behind them and helping them prevent any barriers to securing gainful employment and/or education opportunities.
An expunged criminal conviction is sealed from the majority of potential employers and the like, however it can still be used and found by government agencies, law enforcement and judges. This means a person who has a DUI conviction that has been expunged can legally tell most prospective employers that they have no criminal convictions, however, if they commit another DUI / DWI / Drunk Driving offense within the look back period of their State, they can still be classed as habitual drunk drivers and the previous expunged DUI conviction will be taken into account and used to increase the severity of any sentence, penalty and drivers license suspension/revocation imposed.
A person applying for jobs in law enforcement or judiciary may trigger a government agencies criminal records check and any expunged convictions will come to light. There are certain professions which expunged criminal convictions may need to be disclosed, these jobs are usually those that require a license from the State such as law enforcement, doctors, judges, lawyers, attorneys and stock brokers.
Who can get their criminal offense(S) expunged?
The specific rules and regulations on who is eligible for expungement can vary by State. This is why it is advised that people wishing to expunge any criminal record consult with an attorney in their State. Here are some general guidelines that apply to many expungement programs:
- Persons wishing to have a criminal conviction expunged need to apply in writing to the courts, either themselves or through a lawyer specializing in criminal record expungement. Criminal records are NOT automatically expunged after a certain time period.
- Expunged convictions can still be used to increase the severity of any sentence given by criminal court judges. If a person convicted of DUI / DWI / Drunk Driving commits another offense within the DUI look back period they can still be classed as habitual drunk drivers and sentenced accordingly.
- Criminal convictions and DUI convictions can only be expunged approximately a year after they occur and only if a person has served any sentence imposed such as probation and they are facing no other new criminal charges.
- Not every criminal conviction can be expunged. The most common convictions that can be expunged are misdemeanors such a DUI / DWI / Drunk Driving and juvenile convictions. In many states felony convictions and those involving sex offenses cannot be expunged.
- A defendant who is charged with a criminal offense and later acquitted may be able to have any records of the arrest and charge(s) sealed immediately.