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DUI Expungement in California
While you would hope otherwise, many drivers drive while under the influence. This reckless act puts both their life and the lives of others at risk of injury or death. Many drivers believe that they can retain mental and cognitive control of their vehicle if they’ve consumed alcohol. In reality, however, substance use is one of the leading causes of accidents in California.
For those that have been arrested for driving under the influence, there is a list of different convictions they may receive based on the court findings.
Penalties for a DUI can include:
- Payment of Fines
- Jail Time
- Having Driver’s License Suspended or Revoked
For those in the California area it is essential that, if you have a criminal record or DUI, you look for the best alternatives to have your criminal record expunged. As such, looking into an expert lawyer is highly advisable. This is because most legal proceedings are generally very complex and difficult to navigate without a guide. In many instances, if there are any errors when filing a motion, or a failure to carry out a specific procedure, your request will likely be denied.
What is DUI Removal in California?
Left alone, a DUI conviction will remain on your criminal record. Still, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of the many benefits offered by the law to have it eliminated. Keep in mind that, while you must pay the penalty for the crime, that doesn’t mean you have to live with it over your head the rest of your life.
Pursuant to Penal Code 1203.4, the courts have the legal ability to annul a guilty plea and dismiss a party’s DUI conviction, provided they have served their sentence.
If granted, the DUI conviction will be completely expunged from any background checks. Similarly, if approached by an HR manager, those who have received this benefit can rightfully answer “No” if asked whether they have received a conviction due to driving under the influence of alcohol.
A misdemeanor conviction can be very detrimental if left on your record, often leading to discrimination even after complying with the judge-imposed sanctions. Suffering a DUI conviction can result in job denial as well as being unable to rent or purchase a home. A DUI conviction has even been shown to bar individuals from getting admitted into a university. It is because of this that we emphasize just how important it is that you expunge your criminal record.
How a DUI Conviction will Impact Your Life in California
In California, drug and alcohol-related crimes are severely punished. Specifically surrounding driving, many people in the state irresponsibly act, disregarding the traffic laws. While you do have every right to seek a legal defense if you’ve been accused of committing a DUI, if you have been proven guilty, the judge can levy the following sanctions against you:
- Payment of Fines ranging from Hundreds to Thousands of Dollars
- Jail Time ranging from 30 days to up to 4 years (based on the severity of the crime)
- Court-ordered Driving School
- A legally imposed Ignition Interlock installed in your vehicle
These are just the immediate results of a DUI conviction here in California. The persistent consequences that follow these crimes, however, are serious and will follow you indefinitely
. If you want to start the process of eliminating your DUI conviction from your record, and have a new lease on life, contact us today. We are an experienced law firm that can provide you with the solutions you need for your case so that you can go back to living your life.
Who Can Use a Criminal Background Check in California?
One thing to keep in mind is that financial institutions, businesses and recruiting companies, as well as real estate owners, all have the legal right to review the criminal records of any of your clients as well as any future employees you bring on. This can be very disadvantageous for those who have received a DUI conviction, as it often can result in a denial of a loan, loss or rejection from a job, or not being able to live in your desired area.
As mentioned earlier, failure to remove a DUI from your criminal record will result in facing numerous obstacles. In order to relieve yourself from these burdens and obstacles, you must remove these crimes from your criminal record. Remember, in California, every person or company has a right to go over and review your conviction records without notice. This means that, even if you may otherwise qualify for a job, loan, or home, because of a stained record, you may be rejected or denied.
Will Expungement Hide a DUI?
One thing that should be made clear is that removing a DUI does not equate to “hiding” it or the fact that you were arrested due to a DUI. Instead, by having it expunged you show that the case was legally dismissed rather than showing a conviction. This means that, outside of the FBI and other local departments, if searched, a company will not find that you were convicted of any crime involving the DUI. Another important point is that the removal of a DUI does not affect your driving history.
Will my DUI be Removed From the Department of Motorized Vehicles Records (DMV)?
A common question often asked is whether the DMV will similarly expunge your conviction once the courts do. Unfortunately, while a DUI removal will erase your conviction from virtually all criminal record checks, it will not do so for the DMV.
What this means for you is that, while most other avenues will not see your conviction, insurance companies or employers that require driving a vehicle will review your DMV records, likely resulting in potentially being rejected for the job. Similarly, insurance companies that see that you have been convicted of a DUI may either greatly increase your monthly rate or outright deny your application.
Won't my DUI Conviction Automatically be Removed after 10 Years?
You may have heard that, after 10 years, a DUI conviction will automatically be lifted from your criminal record if you’ve been convicted of a crime. I will say now that this is false.
According to California law, a conviction will remain on your criminal record until it has been expunged.
To have a DUI removed from your criminal record requires going through the Code Penalty 1203.4 and requesting a dismissal of the conviction by the court.
Until it has been erased, a DUI will stay on your record indefinitely. This refrains you from ever legally stating that you have not been convicted of a crime. Similarly, whenever a background check is done, due to the severity of a DUI, it will always be clearly shown to any prospective employer or financial institution.
While a DUI will not automatically be removed from your criminal record after 10 years, it will be removed from your DMV record 10 years after the conviction.
How Can You Expunge a DUI Conviction in California?
To request a DUI conviction expunged, you must first hire an experienced attorney. This is to ensure that all forms and proceedings are accurately and adequately completed. Failure to do this may result in an immediate rejection or denial.
Steps required before deleting a DUI from your record:
- You must acquire your criminal record from the court you were initially convicted
- File a petition for a DUI expungement
- If necessary, file a motion for termination of anticipated parole
- You must attend the legal hearing (an attorney can be present in your place)
- You must wait for the judge’s verdict. This can either result in the petition being denied or approved.
Am I Eligible for my DUI to be Expunged from My Criminal Record?
The reality is that not everyone will qualify to have their DUI removed from their record. California law dictates that there are certain legal requirements before a judge can move to remove a misdemeanor or DUI from your criminal record. Those sentenced to time in the state penitentiary, as an example, are ineligible for any type of crime expungement on their record.
That said, there are still alternative methods to reduce the severity of a conviction. Items such as a Certificate of Forgiveness or Rehabilitation can help alleviate some of the negative consequences caused by a DUI conviction if ineligible for an outright removal.
How Can You Be Eligible for a DUI Removal in California?
- You must accept and comply with any and all court judgments. This includes paying any fines as well as serving the full term of your probation or jail sentence.
- You must wait for at least 12 months from the date of receiving your conviction.
- You must not have committed any other type of crime.
- You must not have been sentenced to incarceration in a state penitentiary.
Why Should You Hire a Lawyer?
The legal process in the United States is incredibly complicated and complex, especially if you are not an experienced attorney. We are highly experienced in helping get rid of and eliminating your DUI convictions in the shortest time possible, helping you move on with your life almost immediately.
Your past mistakes are your past’s mistakes. Don’t let them dictate the quality of your life in the future. By cleaning up and clearing out your criminal record, you will have access to higher-paying jobs, options for a house you deserve, and the ability to get a loan for whatever endeavor you’d like to work towards. You will be to state that you have not been legally convicted and have the ability to go to the school of your dreams. In short, you’ll be able to live the life you want and the life you deserve.