Most DUI convictions do not involve injury and are therefore classified as misdemeanors. But whether your DUI is a misdemeanor or a felony, you will have a criminal record. This record will follow you indefinitely, possibly affecting your life in a variety of ways, including getting future employment, loans or car insurance.
Did you know that some drivers may be able to expunge a DUI from their driving record? State laws vary, talk to a DUI lawyer for more information.
The DUI Expungement Process
Where to go to file the petition:
You need to file the petition for expungement in the court in the same county where you were arrested for DUI. Before you file this petition, depending on the state, you may need to attain a certificate of eligibility (COE) from the governing law enforcement agency.
What can disqualify you from expungement?
You have not finished your sentence or probation
You have previous DUI convictions
You previously expunged your record
When can you potentially expunge your DUI from your driving record?
You may be able to expunge your driving record if this is the only DUI conviction on your record. In some states, such as Texas or Florida, a DUI conviction can never be expunged. The only way to get your DUI record erased in those states is to have the DUI charges dropped following the DUI arrest.
Do you need a DUI Lawyer?
You do not have to hire a DUI lawyer to expunge your DUI from your driving record, but it is recommended. DUI help from a DUI attorney who understands the paperwork and requirements can be very helpful.
How long does the DUI expungement process take?
It can take 3 to 6 months to expunge a DUI from your driving record.
How much does it cost to file a DUI expungement?
The filing fee for a DUI expungement varies from $50 to $500, depending on the difficulty of your DUI case and your state requirements.
What will happen after I file the proper paperwork for a DUI expungement?
You must await the response from your state attorney’s office. If they do not object, you may be granted your petition without a hearing.
What if I have to proceed to Court?
You will have a hearing and the petition may or may not be permitted. If you lose your hearing, you can appeal or go through the process again and request the DUI expungement at another time. If you win, you simply wait for two months and then check your records to see if the DUI is still present. Depending on the state, the court usually orders all agencies to seal your driving record within the sixty-day period.
State laws vary, but…
Even though the laws and procedures that govern DUI expungements vary from state to state, there are three general requirements that are universal:
*Your sentence for your DUI must have involved some type of probation, not state prison. If you were sent to prison, the likelihood of your petition for DUI expungement being granted is small.
*You must have followed all of the requirements of your probation.
*You cannot have a pending case against you in criminal court. For example, if you are trying to expunge the DUI conviction so it can’t be used against you in your pending case, your application will be denied.
I don’t qualify for a DUI expungement…now what?
If you find that you do not qualify, you may still want to meet with a DUI attorney. Other options may be open for you in your state that could also help, like a petition for non-disclosure. The conviction may still be on your record, but the state could prevent everyone except law enforcement from sharing that information. So, employers and credit agencies would not be aware of the DUI conviction.
There is also the possibility that a case was not filed after your arrest and the statute of limitations has expired. The main thing to keep in mind is that each state has multiple ways available for clearing up a DUI. The best move is to consult with a DUI attorney within your state to explore the best options for your DUI case.
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