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DUI Expungement in California

Posted on in DUI

DUI expungement, San Jose criminal defense lawyer, felony DUI, DUI conviction, DUI chargesDriving under the influence, i.e. operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol to the extent that you are not able to drive as cautiously as a sober person, is a serious crime in California. Those convicted of driving under the influence (commonly referred to as “getting a DUI”) in California can be fined, sentenced to serve time in prison, ordered to complete a drug and alcohol awareness program, have their driver’s license suspended, and/or have an ignition interlock device installed on their car. But these are just a few of the potential consequences that DUI offenders face.

Additionally there is a social stigma that often accompanies having a DUI on your record, and such a blemish may impact your ability to find work, especially if you were convicted of a felony DUI (opposed to a misdemeanor DUI). However, there is some good news; under certain circumstances a California DUI conviction can be expunged.

What Does it Mean to Have a DUI Conviction Expunged?

When a California driver is convicted of driving under the influence the conviction is noted on two different types of records: the individual’s driving record and his or her criminal record. A California DUI will stay on an offender’s driving record for 10 years and then will automatically drop off. However, the conviction on the offender’s criminal record is permanent unless they are able to get the conviction expunged.

When a California court grants a DUI expungement the offender is allowed to withdraw his or her prior “guilty” or “no contest” plea and the case is dismissed. Once a conviction on an individual’s criminal record is expunged the record of the conviction is destroyed and, in most circumstances, it is like the conviction never took place. However, it must be noted that in some instances, for example if the individual gets a subsequent DUI, the fact that a DUI conviction was previously expunged from their record can be considered.

Eligibility Requirements

Section 1203.4 of the California Penal Code states that a California DUI conviction can be expunged from an individual’s record if he or she:

  1. Was placed on probation for driving under the influence; and

  2. Successfully completed his or her probation.

However, a California driving under the influence conviction will not automatically be expunged as soon as the two requirements listed above have been satisfied. Rather, an offender who meets these eligibility requirements needs to petition the court in which he or she was convicted for an expungement.

Contact Us Today

Petitioning the court to expunge a DUI conviction in California is often confusing for individuals who attempt to go it alone without the assistance of counsel. While it is possible to file a petition for DUI expungement without the help of an attorney, retaining a lawyer will make the process progress much more smoothly and will help to ensure that your legal rights are protected every step of the way.

To find out more about what an experienced San Jose expungement and dismissal of criminal records lawyer can do for you, schedule a free initial consultation at Jachimowicz Law Group today.

Sources:

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=VEH&sectionNum=23152

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=1203.4.&lawCode=PEN

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