When a person is convicted of DUI, the results can be devastating. Having a DUI on your criminal record can affect your ability to get a job, find an apartment or apply for school even years after your conviction. But with the help of a professional DUI lawyer, it may be possible to have this crime erased (or at least sealed) from your criminal record. This legal process is known as DUI expungement.
Depending on your state’s laws and the circumstances surrounding your case, DUI expungement could be the answer to your problems. With the help of your attorney, you can make a petition to the court to have your record destroyed or sealed. Again, depending on your state, this may not be possible until a certain amount of time has passed. This legal process is a civil action filed by you (with the assistance of your attorney).
The benefits of having your DUI expunged
One of the most important reasons to have your criminal record cleared of a DUI is that it can prevent you from finding a job or applying to school. If you’re a driver with a commercial license, a DUI will quickly put an end to your career—but not if your DUI can be expunged. Also, if you are applying for a professional license, the employer or state (if it’s a government position) is likely to conduct a background check where a DUI will eventually surface.
Is it possible for my DUI to be expunged?
While it may be possible, you should first speak with an attorney in your area. Your state may require you to wait a certain amount of time before you can petition to have your DUI expunged. If your state allows this, they may review the facts surrounding your case to see the seriousness of the situation and will check to see if you have had any other convictions since then. They may also review whether or not you fulfilled the terms of your sentence.
Certain states such as Texas, New York and Florida only allow a DUI expungement if your case has been dismissed.