What is expungement?

On Behalf of | Oct 22, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

You received a DUI recently, and you want to get a head start on dealing with the charges. How do you keep potential employers and landlords from learning about your interaction with law enforcement?

American Bar Association explains how expungement works. Learn how to wipe the slate clean and move forward in your life.

Defining expungement

When a California court expunges your record, it removes it completely. The court seals or destroys your DUI from federal or state records, making it as if you never received a DUI. Expungement and a legal pardon are not the same. With a pardon, the court “forgives” you for the criminal act.

Expungement at the state level

Usually, only state courts handle expungement. While they happen at the federal level, they do not occur often. States have their own regulations regarding which offenses to expunge, who qualifies for expungement and how to manage records for an expungement order.

The limits of expungement

While expungement wipes your DUI from state or federal records, the order has limits. For instance, if the local media learned of your DUI and ran a story about it, your expungement does not remove articles or videos of the report. The same applies to social media and search engines.

If you want to expunge your DUI for privacy reasons, you may not accomplish your goal even if the court grants an order. If you want to clear your DUI to improve your chances of getting a job or securing housing, you could have better luck.

You need not feel powerless about clearing a DUI from your record. An expungement could help you overcome the hurdle of receiving criminal charges.