Expungement allows you to clear your criminal record.
If you have been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in California, you are probably intimately familiar with the challenges that come with having a criminal record. Among other things, being convicted of DUI can make it hard to get a job, particularly in fields that involve driving, access to confidential information, or children. So how can you clear your record if you have a California DUI conviction?
According to a DUI defense lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, you can have your DUI conviction expunged — or cleared — from your record if you meet certain conditions. Expungement is a legal process in California where a person can withdraw a plea of guilty or no contest, and the case against them is dismissed. This results in a clean criminal record for most purposes, including for getting hired or promoted. However, the DUI conviction can still be used against you if you are charged with another DUI (i.e., it still counts as a prior DUI) and it can be used by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for issues related to your driver’s license.
For DUIs, you may be eligible for expungement if:
- Your DUI sentence did not involve a term of imprisonment;
- You are not currently facing any other criminal charges; and
- You served all of your penalties and fulfilled the conditions of your probation.
Most California DUI convictions meet these requirements.
The process of getting a DUI expungement involves petitioning the court, typically with the help of a DUI defense lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. The judge will review a petition for expungement to determine if the petitioner is eligible for an expungement based on the criteria listed above. If the judge grants the petition, then the person either withdraws their guilty or no contest plea and re-enters a not guilty plea, or the judge sets aside a guilty verdict from a criminal trial. The judge will then dismiss the case.
One of the major benefits of getting a DUI expungement is that it may make it easier to find a job. While California’s ban the box law forbids employers from asking applicants about their criminal history on a job application, they can still consider it when making an employment decisions. A conviction that has been expunged does not have to be disclosed to an employer.
However, expungement does not mean that there are no lasting consequences of a DUI conviction. It won’t allow you to get your driver’s license back before your suspension is over, for example, and the DUI will still count as a prior offense if you are arrested for driving under the influence in the future (within the 10 year “lookback” period).
Importantly, you must comply with all terms of your sentence in order to be eligible for expungement. If you have questions about what your probation conditions mean or whether you have fulfilled your obligations under the law, consult with your DUI defense lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.
The Chambers Law Firm represents individuals who have been charged with DUI and related offenses in Southern California. We can also help individuals have their DUI convictions expunged. To learn more or to schedule a free case evaluation, contact us today at 855-397-0210 or firstname.lastname@example.org.